Police Release Toddler’s Name

The 16-month-old girl who died Thursday after sustaining injuries from an apparent beating has been identified as Nayla J. Hodnett.

According to Jamestown Police, investigators are still conducting interviews and examining evidence to determine the individual or individuals responsible.

Nayla – a resident of 218 Newland Ave. – was taken to WCA Hospital’s emergency room by her mother Wednesday at 8:45 p.m., before being transferred to Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo via Starflight for further treatment.

She later died of her injuries at 7:36 a.m. Thursday.

An autopsy at Erie County Medical Center determined the cause of death was a homicide.

“The child died of blunt force trauma, so basically the child was beaten to death,” said Captain Robert F. Samuelson, division commander of the Jamestown Police Department. “No one has been taken into custody yet.”

Nayla’s mother, according to Samuelson, had an on-again, off-again relationship with a local man. A 3-year-old child was also living at the Newland Avenue residence and was taken in by Child Protective Services.

The homicide is believed to be an isolated incident and not the result of a home invasion, Samuelson said.

Samuelson also indicated that there may be people whom the child’s parents reached out to before she was taken to the hospital.

These individuals and anyone else with information on Nayla’s death are advised to contact the JPD at 483-7537 or leave an anonymous tip at 483-8477 (Tips).

Nayla’s death may bring back memories of the 2009 death of Auston Morales, a 2-year-old boy from Jamestown who died in his home.

On Oct. 16, 2009, Jamestown Police and EMTs responded to a 911 call reporting that Auston was not breathing and unresponsive.

He was taken to WCA Hospital and later transported by Starflight to Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, where he died the following evening.

An autopsy revealed that Auston did not die of natural causes, but rather through injuries sustained at the home.

His father, Agustin Morales, who was 32 at the time, later pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter.