Police: 3-year-old Ella Camp died of child abuse

7:12 PM, Sep 20, 2013   |    comments
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ROME, Ga. -- Police in Rome are saying child abuse is the cause of death for 3-year-old Ella Camp, who died Thursday. 

Rome police officers said Gabriella (Ella) Camp was rushed to the hospital with traumatic head injuries sustained on Tuesday. Investigators now say her death was not accidental. 

A police report was issued from Lt. Gary Clayton, which stated Ella was brought in by her mother Tuesday morning around 11:30. Ella was unresponsive upon arrival. 

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Doctors at the emergency room said Ella had extreme head trauma, and they flew the child to another area hospital. 

Officer James Manning handled the case, and said that Ella and her mother were accompanied by the mother's boyfriend at the hospital. He left the hospital quickly, officers never got a chance to speak to him. 

The case has the community's attention - the "Prayers for Ella" Facebook page has more than 10,000 followers. 

Investigators are working to find out what exactly happened. 

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Family and friends describe Ella as a beautiful little girl who loved everybody.   It seems everyone in Rome loves her, too.

Throughout town businesses and family friends were raising money to help offset funeral expenses.  

Hundreds of people, most of whom had never met the family, were also leaving messages on a Facebook page set up to remember her.

Tracy Swann started selling T-shirts to encourage people to pray for Ella when she was in the hospital.  She was also trying to raise money so the family could pay for a hotel room and food, since the hospital where Ella was finally sent, was more than 60 miles from home.

"We've changed the design of the shirt from prayers for Ella to just Ella," said Swann.

The new shirt is purple, Ella's favorite color.  Swann says the community's generosity has been heartwarming to both her, and especially the family.  She recounted one particular donation from a young girl.

"She came up with her life savings in a piggy bank and put it in one of our donation buckets.  What do you say to that?" questioned Swann fighting back the tears.

Swann nor Ella's family will talk about the injury that led to the three year old's death, but the police report says she was with the mother's boyrfriend, David Zachary Gresham at the time. 

Gresham was arrested the day after the incident on a probation violation.  He plead guilty to a DUI and drug charge in 2012 and according to court records, tested positive for drugs before his recent arrest.

"Our focus is just Ella and love. Justice will take care of itself," said Swann.

To learn more about purchasing a shirt or make a donation you can visit any Alfa Insurance office in Rome or visit the Facebook page Prayers For Ella.  You can also make a donation throughGoFundMe.

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