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Woman arrested in death of 3-year-old grandson, Denton police say

Police said they arrested Angela Downing, 57, after the child died on Jan. 22.

DENTON, Texas — A woman has been arrested for murder in the death of her 3-year-old grandson, Denton police said.

Police said they arrested Angela Downing, 57, after the child died on Jan. 22. And the details surrounding her grandson's death are disturbing. 

A neighbor told WFAA, she would always help out, and babysit the children, and watch cartoons with them.

“It was sad for me all day. I loved that little boy so much,” said Zettie Cruz, neighbor.

Cruz is heartbroken after she heard about her 3-year-old neighbor, who police said, was killed by his grandmother.

“I used to watch him when she would go grocery shopping. He used to play with my cat, ‘Cloud’ and chase him around,” said Cruz.

Downing was caring for her two grandchildren, a 3-year-old boy, and a 4-year-old girl.

Then, last week, officers learned from Child Protective Services on Jan. 18, that the child was being treated for severe injuries at a hospital. Police said Downing had reported to medical staff that the child accidentally fell down a flight of stairs.

Police said investigators determined the child's injuries -- a skull fracture that caused brain bleeding and swelling -- were not accidental after talking with doctors and Downing herself.

Denton Police Lt. Steve Buchanan said Downing later admitted to detectives that she killed her grandson.

“Ms. Downing stated that she forcefully threw the child on the bathroom floor, up against the wall,” said Buchanan.

Cruz saw last saw the little boy last week. She will be saying a prayer for the little boy.

“I would say to the little boy, ‘Enjoy yourself in heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ,” said Cruz.

Downing is now being held on a $250,000 bond.

Credit: WFAA
Angela Downing, charged with murder

The 4-year-old child, who also lived in the home, was put into the care of Child Protective Services. 

WFAA also asked Denton police if they had any prior encounters with the grandmother. Police said in February 2021, they did a welfare check when the children were left in the car, as Downing was out shopping at the grocery store.

Police reminded residents if they know or suspect a child is being abused that they should call the Children's Advocacy Center for North Texas at 972-317-2818, or 911 in an emergency.