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Medical Examiner: 2-year-old girl’s death ruled homicide by dehydration

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Posted at 5:28 PM, Apr 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-26 17:28:52-04

RICHMOND, Va. — The death of two-year-old Ariellisa Simmons has been ruled a homicide by dehydration, according to the Richmond Medical Examiner Office Tuesday.

The toddler’s stepmother, Andrea Watkins-Simmons, has now been charged with 1st-degree murder, felony murder and child neglect in the girl’s death.

Ariellisa Simmons

Ariellisa Simmons

The child’s remains were located inside an attic of a vacant apartment off Chamberlayne Avenue in January, according to multiple police sources. Police have yet to confirm the identity of the remains discovered in the attic.

The two-year-old and Watkins-Simmons were reported missing in November, 2015. Weeks later Watkins-Simmons was arrested in New York City.

Andrea Watkins-Simmons (PHOTO: Richmond Police)

Andrea Watkins-Simmons (PHOTO: Richmond Police)

“Watkins-Simmons was initially arrested in New York in late January on a charge of felony abduction,” police said. “She has been fighting extradition since the time of her arrest, but was brought back to Virginia on April 19.”

Watkins-Simmons is being held without bond at Richmond City Jail. She is scheduled to appear in court on May 2.