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UPDATE: Arrest made in toddler’s death, in court Thursday

An Independence County man sits in jail facing 1st degree murder charges after the death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter. Investigators say the toddler’s mother found her in a refrigerator.
Outside the home where the toddler was found (Batesville Daily Guard, Batesville Daily Guard)
Outside the home where the toddler was found (Batesville Daily Guard, Batesville Daily Guard)
DESHA, AR - An Independence County man sits in jail facing 1st degree murder charges after the death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter. Investigators say the toddler’s mother found her in a refrigerator.

"My heart goes out to them. I couldn't imagine how she feels right now." Brittiney Ring lives in Desha, right down the road from Kristi Davidson and her late daughter, Harley. Ring has even met the murder suspect, 26-year-old Jesse Holoman. “He seemed pretty normal to me. I didn’t think he’d be capable of something like that, but some people surprise you.”

But the Sheriff's Department says Holloman confessed to giving Harley half a bottle of Amoxycillin, then putting a rag over her head, and stuffing her into a box inside a refrigerator.

“The bottom line was the child was dead, the child was in his care, and best we have we believe he killed the child," said Mike Mundy with the Independence County Sheriff.

Detectives say Holloman was watching the girl for her mother while she was at work. They say Holloman went to find her to tell her something was wrong with the toddler Sunday morning. That's when Davidson found her daughter and called for help.

Now the community is trying to help, setting out collection bins at gas stations to raise money for funeral expenses. "We're just trying to pull together for her. That's one less thing she'll have to worry about," says Ring.

Investigators say they won't have the official cause of death until the results come back from the state crime lab.

Late Wednesday Hollman appeared before Circuit Judge John Dan Kemp on first degree murder charges after Independence County Sheriff's Department say he confessed to killing 22 month-old Harley Davidson over the weekend.

Judge Kemp appointed public defender Beverly Claunch to defend Hollman, who entered a plea of not guilty. Bond was set at $250,000. Holloman has been charged with first degree murder.
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