A five-year-old Washington girl who died Friday allegedly at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend of three months was the daughter of a Ceres native.
Police in Vancouver, Wash., are investigating the death of Hartley Anderson, 5, who was found unconscious Friday with severe head trauma while in the care of Ryan Burge, 37. She died after being transported to Randall Children’s Hospital. Burge told police that Hartley injured herself during a temper tantrum and that he tried to get her to stop. He denied harming Hartley after detectives from the Vancouver Police Major Crime Unit and Children’s Justice Center determined the girl could not have inflicted the injuries. They arrested Burge for second-degree murder.
Burge has a criminal history dating back to 1999, including charges for domestic violence, harassment and malicious mischief.
The girl was the biological daughter of Peter Anderson who was raised in Ceres.
The death occurred at the Madison Park Apartment located in the 12000 block of Northeast 28th Street.
“We don’t know exactly what happened but if he did how dare him that is the absolute worst worst thing to a 5-year-old girl I mean that’s ugh,” T.J. Luchau, Hartley’s uncle, told TV reporters.
On Monday Burge was in court where prosecutors described the trauma inflicted by Burge as “violent,” citing “impacts on the drywall” later found by investigators. It was in court that Peter Anderson jumped up and tried to rush the suspect before he was detained by bailiffs and was handcuffed.
The girl’s mother, Nataasha Luchau was carried out of the courthouse by family members after she shouted, “He killed my baby!”
The judge set bail at $5 million. Burge is due back in court later this week for a formal arraignment. Hartley’s family says they will be at every court appearance to come.