MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) - The father and stepmother of a 5-year-old Muncie girl are behindbars charged with her death.
The little girl's other family members spoke exclusively with24-Hour News 8's Phil Sanchez.
Lauren McConniel spent almost a week on life support atRiley Hospital for Children but she wasn't able to pullthrough.
"I haven't had a decent night sleep since that baby died," LindaSmith, her step grandmother, said.
Lauren passed away in March.
On Friday police arrested her stepmother, Brittany McConnieland her biological father Ryan McConniel. Both are charged withneglect in connection her death.
Smith said since February she knew something wasn'tright.
"I (saw) her then and I thought, she really lost a lot ofweight, and I asked about it and they said they were taking her tothe doctor, and that she was being treated by a physician, and thatshe was in counseling for an eating disorder, and I said at 5? Andthey said, yeah she has an eating disorder," Smith added.
A few weeks later Smith saw Lauren one more time at RileyHospital for Children.
Smith said she knew it would be the last time...
"You could just tell by looking at her, there was nothing leftof her, she was skin and bone, she had all of these things all overher head, she wasn't breathing right, you could just tell." Smithsaid
After Lauren died the McConniel's moved to nearby Eaton beforebeing arrested this week.
They have three other children who are now with other familymembers.
The Muncie house where they once lived, where 5 year oldLauren once played with her brother and sisters is now occupied byother family members.
Linda Smith tells us she thinks Ryan McConniel isinnocent.
"I don't know, I know he was working full-time, going to schoolfull-time, I know he wasn't here a lot, I really wish I knew theanswer to that question." Smith added.
Lauren would've celebrated her 6th birthday in October.
The probable cause affidavit, which will provide moreinformation into what allegedly happened, should be releasedMonday.
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