Woman Held in Toddler’s Chili Powder Death

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APPLE VALLEY, Calif. (KTLA) — A wpolice-line400oman has been arrested in the death of a toddler who police say was made to ingest chili powder — perhaps as a punishment.

Amanda Sorensen, 21, of Apple Valley, was detained early Monday morning on suspicion of child abuse resulting in death.

San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies were called to the 20000 block of Cayuga Road at 4:16 p.m. Sunday for a child suffering from a seizure after ingesting chili powder.

The 2-year-old girl was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Sorensen is believed to be the girlfriend of the child’s father.

An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

Neighbors told KTLA that they have witnessed abuse in the home before.

“They fight like crazy,” one man said. “I went over there one day to help with the car. She came out asking when he was going to get done so they could get the kids from school.”

“He just flew off the handle and just smacked the dog out of her,” he recalled.

Sorensen is being held on $500,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday, Jan. 9.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Homicide Detail, Detective Rob Trostle or Sergeant Rick Bessinger at (909)387-3589.

If you want to remain anonymous, you can call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463), or leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at http://www.Wetip.com.

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  • Erin

    Regardless of whether she knew it would kill her or not, you don't give a TWO-YEAR OLD CHILD chili powder. You just don't. There are other forms of punishment. Put her in her room. Sit her in time out. SPANK HER. Chili powder is a spice…one that is actually spicy and causes a bad reaction in MANY people. It's not rocket science; I had no idea that chili powder could kill a child, and I am STILL judging her because it shouldn't have been a viable punishment in the first place!

  • T.R.M.

    Mark, where you at trik speechless another one of your hillbilly imbred sad excuse for a human relative causing some bad drama you must be proud to be of this superior of all no good for nothing white power (trash) just want you and all you others judge not for you to shall be judged and as for the precious little angel she is with our God the Creator of all and out of this evil world which we all make it that way and does NOT HAVE TO SUFFER ANY LONGER IN THE HANDS OF HER TORMENTORS( friggin snatzis) may GOD FORGIVE ME AND HAVE MERCY FOR ALL OF US ………… THE REAL MEXICAN

  • tuffyturf

    Just think of all the people who would have loved and adopted this child, yet it died in the hands of a tramp stamp piece of white trash with more metal in her face than is found on the space shuttle..

  • why?

    The one that is responsible life is never going to be the same . Her hell has begun.This is very sad and unfortunate. Chili powder burns! goodness the agony this child must have felt to inhale that .Little angel.

  • highly motivated

    This woman is sick and after all the comments about her having to take care of 4 children for the last six months, or whatever was said… This is a senseless death that did not need to happen… To all of the ppl the claim "they know her",SHAME ON YOU for even giving her one ounce of sympathy!! There is not one "good enough" excuse for her to do anything like that to a child!!! SHAME!!

    • WTE

      I agree. Should people feel sorry for because she had to vare for 4 children for 6 months?
      BFD lots of people do that and don't end up killing any of their chioldren or stepchildren

  • highly motivated

    … sad part about it, she will not have to suffer and die they way that the child died.. Even in prison you can not punish someone by causing them harm in any way… The women in prison though will punish her enough.. I hope that this case gets a lot of attention, so when she goes to prison they will all know what she has done and that is when the real punishment comes in… Prison laws are very different than outside laws!!!

  • MSG

    More disturbing than this one horrific incident is the fact that so many comments condone punishing a 2 year old with anything. Babies learn with love. They need to be taught to do the right things with positive reinforcement. People and animals respond to loving guidance and rewards. Behavior may be altered momentarily with punishment like spanking and spices but no living creature deserves to be treated like that. Just because an adult is bigger and stronger doesn't give them the right to abuse a child or animal. If you wouldn't change the behavior of your friend with that technique than you shouldn't do it to a child just because you can. Punishment is abuse and that's why you end up with screwed up adults.

    • someone in the mist

      No punishment is not abuse unless you let it become abuse by over doing it. and the reason you end up with screwed up adults is because they were not taught the values of behavior and acting proper and right in public or with other adults, children, etc. If things were like they were when our parents were children we would not have as much teenage violence or child abuse, domestic violence, etc in the world because people would actually have respect for others and their surroundings!

  • anonymous

    “Hopefully this sorry excuse for a mother will not be able to breed again. ”

    Does anyone read the story? It wasn’t her child, she’s the girlfriend of the father. She’s not the mother. Nothing here indicates she’s ever bred. Ignorance is ugly, people

  • ClanSmokeJaguar

    This is what happens when two things collide:

    a) Po White Trash breeds
    b) People begin to look at children as property rather than helpless and hapless human beings

  • SoabStiven

    I just got paid $6784 working off my laptop this month. And if you think that's cool, my divorced friend has twin toddlers and made over $9k her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less. This is what I do, Rich45.ℂOM

  • dee

    i remember when my uppity yet highly christian neighbors used tabasco sauce on their 3 yr old. i remember the little gal standing in her driveway w/ a wet towel in her mouth. whatever "bad words" she said was totally unintentional. gosh.

    • someone in the mist

      If the child did use bad language, they only learn it from those around them which means that the parents and other adults around used bad language and the child must thought it was ok since the adults did it. Parents need to learn that children learn from peoples actions.

  • Oscar

    Ignorance and a cycle of abuse appear to be working in this case.

    You don't hurt children in order to correct their behavior. Punishment does not work, according to all psychological research, in changing behaviors.

    I've never seen so many ignorant and illiterate comments on any one article on the web. I thought this story must be from around the south, where I'm from – but, it's California! Wow! Let me count my blessings and hug my children….

    • apatty

      there is nothing wrong with punishment and teaching discipline, but giving a kid chilli powder is not the way to do it. i got disciplined as a child but i was not abused. most of the time i got sent to my room or just scolded. but i learned right from wrong and turned out to be a successful adult.

  • Katherine DelliCarpini Getts

    I am raising 4 children, 2 of them are special needs and a handful and a half and NO time out, grounding, etc does not work on them either. You find other ways. YOU DO KNOW that a LITTLE chilli powder goes into some really hot chilli so if you put a little into a childs mouth it is going to hurt them like hell. Wether she knew it would kill her or not is irrelevant, she did know it would hurt her and that was her intent…. That is not a good mother.. STRESSED??!?! WELCOME TO LIFE! If you can’t handle having those children then don’t be with their father. IGNORANT, CODEPENDANT, SIMPLE WOMAN~!! Someone in prison will take care of her. Like it or not, we know what happens to child killers in prison.

  • elizabeth

    This is very similar to the case of Hannah Overton, who killed her recently adopted 4 year old son with a packet of Zaterain's chili seasoning. He died of salt poisoning. Those packets are intended to season an entire pot of chili, like 50 servings to an adult. Force the whole thing on a small child, and you've just given a lethal amount of sodium several times over.
    I don't care that she didn't know it would be lethal. Stop inflicting cruel and unusual punishments on your child and you don't have to worry about killing them by accident.

  • Sara

    Another case of babies having babies. Though, at 21, she should know better by now that chili powder is not a way to discipline a child… whatever happened to timeout?

  • Pak31

    Sorry but what could a 2 year old do that would warrant being punished at all? Then to do it with something you know is going to at least burn her mouth out? What ever happened to telling a child no? Especially at that age, you are just scaring them. Maybe she didn't mean to kill her but her actions were pathetic and bullying and harmful. Don't be around children if you can't handle them in a loving but firm manner. I could never hurt a child like that.

  • susan

    I am saddened that we live in such an ignorant society. This goes to show that women and men at such a young age are not equipped emotionally to handle parenthood.

    • someone in the mist

      No people are not wrong. Even a DOCTOR will tell you no to give a child under the age of 2-3 chili powder or anything in powder form because they dont know how to eat it without coughing and gasping on it and it then gets into their lungs and it chokes them.

    • TheTruthBeTold

      yes Mexican give chili to their kids but not chili powder sand Jolene was give a large amount that's what they found when they did the autopsy. This 2 years body couldn't handle it… how do i know this is my cuzin

  • Anita Mattingly

    I see a lot of self righteous people here who don't know anything more about this than what the news told them. You don't know if this was a punishment and if it was it resulted in a horrible accident, not murder. I have had my mouth washed out with soap and I have heard of hot sauce on the tongue. I think everyone should keep their best parenting tips to themselves and stop pointing the fingers. Everyone always thinks their way is the best no matter what. At least, that's what I'm reading. This woman lost her child. It was a tragic accident. And even more tragic it the angry mob that's going to ensue this poor woman.

  • TTWW

    What other cruelty had she previously inflicted on this little child. If it turns out she made the child ingest this burning hot stuff and it has killed her, then I hope you have the death penalty in that State and use it, because she would deserve it for literally torturing this child to death..

    • someone in the mist

      CA does have the death penalty but it would take 20+ years for her to ever go through any of it if she was sentenced with that.