NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Manatee County woman arrested for 2009 death of 4-year-old daughter

Posted at 11:10 AM, Jun 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-18 18:25:50-04

A Manatee County mother was arrested and charged with homicide in the death of her 4-year-old daughter in 2009.

On August 14, 2009, deputies and EMS responded to the scene of unresponsive 4-year-old Kelis Rucker. She was declared deceased at a hospital.

The mother, Dominique Brewer, was the only one in the house with the child and gave several inconsistent statements during interviews, along with admitting to drug use prior to the incident, detectives say.

They searched the residence and conducted a re-enactment of the incident.

An autopsy revealed Asphyxiation as the cause of death, and investigators said Brewer gave no viable explanation as to injuries the child received.

At the conclusion of the initial investigation, Brewer was not arrested and the case was sent to the State Attorney's Office.

MANATEE COUNTY NEWS | The latest headlines from Manatee County

During Brewer's first appearance on Tuesday information was revealed from the state attorney's office that the mother told different stories about Rucker's death.

The state attorney's office said that Brewer told investigators different stories all along. One of those allegations from Brewer were that Rucker hung herself in the closet by a scarf -- another story was that her daughter swallowed pennies.

The state argued that there is no way a child could hang themselves and that the mother was the only person home at the time of the death.

In 2017, detectives began to re-examine aspects of the case, including numerous meetings with the State Attorney's Office.

This month, following years of investigation, a decision was made to file charges. More interviews were conducted along with a full review of evidence and initial statements.