POLK COUNTY, Ga. - Police have charged a Cedartown man in the tragic death of a Polk County toddler last month.
Dustin Drew Putnal, 27, is accused of murdering 21-month-old Ella Grayce Pointer.
On October 28, Polk County Police and EMS personnel were dispatched to Putnal’s apartment at 45 Adamson Drive where they found the child not breathing. She was taken to Polk Medical Center in critical condition and then flown to Egleston, where she later died.
The girl’s grandfather said the family was told by staff at the hospital that the girl had been beaten and assaulted. According to police, she had possibly been sexually assaulted and suffered severe head trauma.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called in to assist the Polk County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation.
According to police, Putnal is facing a number of charges including murder, felony murder, two counts of aggravated child molestation, aggravated sexual battery and felony cruelty to children.
Meanwhile, Ella Grayce’s loved ones continue to mourn their heartbreaking loss.
"This baby was everyone's heart and soul," grandfather Jack Garner told FOX 5 last month.
The day after she died, more than 100 people gathered for a candlelight vigil outside the Cedartown Home Depot. All of them raised candles for the young victim, who they said brought light to so many lives.
"Ella Grayce was so precious, such a beautiful child. She was always laughing and giggling and playing," said grandmother Dorothy Garner.