The mother of a young girl killed in the basement of a Maplewood home in February has been charged with child endangerment for ignoring evidence of abuse.
Lia Pearson, 37, lived in Farmington but left her 5-month-old daughter Genesis Xiong with Pearson's boyfriend in Maplewood. The young girl was found dead by police on Feb. 12 with bruises on her face, stomach and back.
According to the criminal complaint:
Pearson's boyfriend at the time, Leb Mike Meak, 35, told police that he spanked the girl every time he changed her diaper, but not to where she "passes out of anything." He also admitted that he "roughed her up little bit," and that he may have squeezed her too hard and caused her death.
Meak was charged in February with the girl's death.
Pearson and Meak had known one another for about five years, and started a committed relationship in August. Genesis had been staying with Meak for about a month before she died. Pearson attributed a large bruise on the baby's forehead to the girl bumping into a weight set.
Two of Meak's sons also lived with Meak during the time Genesis was in the house. The boys told investigators that they'd repeatedly warned Pearson that Meak was hitting the baby. One of the brothers said Pearson seemed worried, but then told them not to tell their dad that they had told her. Pearson told investigators that she thought the boys just didn't want to live with the baby.
Pearson denied being in contact with Meak after he was charged with the baby's death. But a number of phone calls were recorded between the two at the jail from Feb. 21 to April 14. Pearson told Meak that the baby forgives him for her death, said she wants to be his life partner and discussed Pearson's ring size. She also said she enlarged a photo of Meak to poster size and put it in her room.
"I am yours," Pearson told Meak during a phone call at the jail on April 2.
Pearson will make her first appearance in Ramsey County District Court on May 15 at 1:30 p.m.