The mother of a 5-year-old New Orleans girl who died as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head now faces a charge of second-degree murder.
Laderika Smith, 28, was initially arrested Sunday on a charge of cruelty to a child in connection with the case.
Authorities say they were called to the home shortly before 11:00 a.m. Sunday in response to a report of a child shot.
The New Orleans Police Department said in a news release that upon arrival, authorities located the 5-year-old girl in a bedroom suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.
The girl, whose name has not been released, was transported to the hospital where she later died.
Officials said the investigation revealed the child was home alone and somehow came into contact with a .38 revolver and accidentally shot herself in the head.
The girl’s mother allegedly told police she locked her daughter inside the home for a short period of time while she went to the store, the news release stated.
Police say Smith told them that when she came back to the residence, she found her daughter lying on the bedroom floor.
Authorities say Smith confessed to having a gun inside the home.
Smith remains behind bars at the Orleans Parish Prison on a $75,000 bond.
The New Orleans Public Defender’s office told HLN Wednesday their office is representing Smith, but they declined to comment on the case.