The mother of a child believed dead from natural causes in 2018 and her boyfriend have been charged with murder after an autopsy revealed the child died from blows to the head.

Paulding County sheriff’s deputies arrested Tanya Atkinson, 26, and Jason Andrew Gromer, 37, both of Hiram, each on charges of murder and aggravated battery after a lengthy investigation, said Sgt. Ashley Henson of the sheriff’s office.

Atkinson is the biological mother of the 3-month-old victim. Gromer is Atkinson’s boyfriend and not the biological father of the child, Henson said.

He said Paulding deputies responded to Bensinger Court in Hiram May 18, 2018, at about 7:10 a.m. about a report of an unconscious child

“When deputies responded to the scene, they were told that the child had issues with her heart from the time she was born,” Henson said. “The child was immediately transported to Wellstar Paulding Hospital where she later passed away.”

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation later conducted an autopsy on the infant, which ultimately concluded the infant died as a result of “blunt force trauma to the head,” Henson said.

“They further stated that the blunt force which caused the infant’s death was ruled non-accidental,” he said.

Detectives with the sheriff’s office’s Crimes Against Children Unit worked with the GBI and began investigating the case. They then arrested Atkinson and Gromer in connection with the death of the infant, Henson said.

Atkinson has two other children who were living in her home at the time of the incident. The children have been placed in state Department of Family and Children Services custody, he said.

Both Gromer and Atkinson were being held in the Paulding County Jail without bond. He said detectives encourage anyone who might have information on this case to contact them at 770-445-6105.

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