Norfolk woman arrested, charged in death of 20-month-old girl

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A 24-year-old Norfolk woman was arrested Sunday and charged in the death of a 20-month-old toddler.

Norfolk Police say Emily Defries identified herself as the step-mother of the 20-month-old girl and was babysitting her and two other children on Sunday. Police tell NewsChannel 3 that Defries was not married.

Defries told police that she called 911 at approximately 5:36 p.m. after she found the girl at the bottom of the steps inside her home in the 7000 block of Gregory Drive.

Medics responded and transported the girl to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital where she was pronounced deceased at approximately 6:10 p.m.

Defries told investigators that she had periodically checked on the girl while she was sleeping upstairs.

The Medical Examiner's Office determined the girl's cause of death was due to Homicide by Blunt Force Trauma.

The investigation is ongoing.

She appeared in court on Wednesday. No one was there to support her and she didn't show any emotion as her defense attorney made plans for her bond hearing.

Defries is currently being held without bond in the Norfolk City Jail.

Per Fleet Forces, Defries was previously enlisted in the Navy and assigned to the USS George H.W. Bush. She was honorably discharged in March.



  • Terry McGraw

    What the heck does her having served in the military have to do with her crime? The fact that your reporting seeks sensationalism by making a spurious correlation to honorably serving men and women is despicable.

  • Hm.

    Apparently, the story now is that she fell down the stairs WITH the child-utter bunk. My dad was carrying me downstairs once when I was a baby-he slipped and fell, and still was able to keep a hold of me while grabbing the bannister with his other hand, keeping me from being injured. Dad’s back, on the other hand….anyway, I find her excuse very hard to believe.
    The local media is notoriously anti-military, folks-haven’t you ever noticed that they are sure to publish that someone is military when they get into trouble? Of course, we all know that teachers, accountants, fast food workers, etc. NEVER break the law….@@

  • Ken

    Hey Virginia ! Come to Chautauqua County in NewYork and do a little back ground on Emily. Wonderful girl from a great family. Mayville isn’t far away from where Tagnelletti killed Reed.

Comments are closed.