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Local News

Murder defendant's children remain in state custody

Shanquilla Shantell Garvey
Shanquilla Shantell Garvey

JOLIET – Two daughters of murder defendant Shanquilla Shantell Garvey remained in state custody after a court hearing Tuesday.

The two girls, one age 2 and the other age 3, were in the hotel room where 8-month-old baby Cherish Freeman’s skull was broken.

Garvey, 24, the mother of all three children, has been charged with murder in Cherish Freeman’s death.

A shelter hearing on the two children was held Tuesday, where it was determined that the two girls would remain in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services, said Charles Pelkie, spokesman for the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office.

The children will remain in DCFS custody at least until a March 20 hearing to determine if they had been in a harmful environment before being taken away from Garvey.

They have been in DCFS custody since Dec. 20, when Garvey was arrested for the incident that day at the Bel-Air Motel in Joliet.

Joliet police officers were called to the Bel-Air Motel on Plainfield Road to investigate a report of a baby who wasn’t breathing. Cherish was hospitalized but later taken off life support. She died Dec. 24.

In addition to the skull fractures, the baby had suffered bleeding on her brain, a cut liver and a fractured clavicle, Assistant State’s Attorney Chris Messina said at a bond hearing for Garvey last week. Some of the injuries appeared to be from earlier incidents, Messina said.

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