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Press Release

District Woman Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter in Death of Her 11-Month-Old Daughter

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Medical Examiner Ruled Death Caused by Blunt Force Trauma

            WASHINGTON - Tyra Anderson, 28, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty today to a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the February 2020 death of her 11-month-old daughter, which was caused by blunt force trauma to the head, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Anderson pleaded guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The plea, which is contingent upon the Court’s approval, calls for a 10-year prison term, with all but three years of that time suspended on the condition that Anderson have no future unsupervised contact with children and that she engage in mental health treatment. Following the prison term, Anderson is to be placed on five years of supervised release. The Honorable Rainey Brandt scheduled sentencing for March 31, 2022. 

            Anderson was the parent and primary caregiver for the child, Makenzie Anderson. On Feb. 6, 2020, she took her daughter to Children’s National Medical Center, where the child was pronounced dead. Anderson, who was residing at a hotel in the 1600 block of New York Avenue NE, told law enforcement that the child fell from a bed on or about Feb. 3, 2020. She stated that the child “was not active and not acting like herself” the following day, and that she was gasping for air on Feb. 5. Finally, on Feb. 6, she stated, she found the child unresponsive and cold to the touch. She maintained that she did not seek immediate medical attention because she was scared.

              On Feb. 7, 2020, the District of Columbia’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy.  Prior to the examination, the staff washed the child’s remains and observed a brown-colored residue on the towels and sponges. A member of the staff noted that the residue looked like make-up or some type of cosmetic. Once the child was fully washed, the examination detected multiple contusions to the head and face. Following a search warrant, cosmetics were recovered from the hotel room. The autopsy determined that the child suffered from multiple contusions to the face and head, skull fractures, and other injuries. The cause of death was ruled to be blunt force trauma to the head.

            Anderson was arrested on Dec. 4, 2020, following an investigation.

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Contee commended the work of the detectives, officers, and others who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Stephanie Gilbert, Grazy Rivera, and Meridith McGarrity, former Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker, and Victim/Witness Program Specialist Amy Trotto. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia G. Wright, who is prosecuting the case.


Updated January 26, 2022

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 22-11