Richmond Police investigating death of 10-month-old girl

Posted at 9:15 PM, Nov 18, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--Richmond Police are actively investigating the death of a 10-month-old baby girl.

Gionna Sydnor was discovered unresponsive exactly one week ago in the care of her mother. Now the child’s grandmother, who said she is shocked and brokenhearted over the loss, is determined to know why the toddler’s life was suddenly cut short.

"I want to know why she died and no one is telling me anything," Adrienne Sydnor,   Gionna's grandmother, said.

Sydnor just can't make sense of it.  She said she may never recover from the news--learned a week ago--that her baby granddaughter Gionna had died. Gionna lived with her mother, Syndor`s daughter, at a Southside apartment.

It was there that she was found dead.

"She had no medical problems...none," Sydnor said.

Sydnor described Gionna as a healthy toddler that was practically inseparable from her twin brother Andreus.

Richmond Police have confirmed they were called around 8:35 a.m. on Monday Nov. 11,  and found Gionna unresponsive. She was transported to Chippenham Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Sources close to the investigation tell CBS 6 that when police arrived to the apartment, they found conditions that were unsanitary and deemed unsafe for the children. A large volume of photographs were taken to document the condition and were presented in court Monday.

"I was worried about the babies because they could not defend themselves,” said Sydnor.

Sydnor claimed she called Richmond Child Protective Services several times in October, and even just two days before Gionna's death because she was worried about the twins living environment.

The agency has yet to confirm that information. CBS 6 has confirmed that immediately after Gionna's death her twin brother Andreus was taken into foster care where he remains now.

Police said they are now waiting on the autopsy findings to determine what comes next in the case and whether there will be charges filed. Sydnor believes Gionna should still be living.

"A baby that's walking and talking--with a mouth full of teeth-- it doesn't happen, especially to a healthy baby," said Sydnor.

The Richmond Medical Examiner's office said Gionna's autopsy is still pending and toxicology tests could take a few more weeks.

A hearing concerning the custody of Gionna's twin brother was held in juvenile court today, but because it was an abuse and neglect hearing, CBS 6 was not allowed inside.

At this time no charges have been filed in this case.