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Gloria Elena Hughes
Courtesy of Bel Air, MD Police Department

Morganton Woman Charged With Beating Child To Death In Maryland

37-year-old Gloria Elena Hughes of Golf Course Road in Morganton was arrested Sunday (December 3) by authorities in Maryland. She was arrested by the Bel Air, Maryland Police Department and charged with first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death.

On Sunday at approximately 5:25 a.m. Bel Air Police officers responded to an address on North Main Street in Bel Air due to a cardiac arrest involving a child. An off-duty Harford County Sheriff’s Deputy was driving past the location and saw an adult female, standing in the street, holding a lifeless infant child. The deputy immediately called for assistance and Bel Air Officers arrived within minutes.

Life-saving measures were immediately initiated on the child, three-year-old Jason Garcia of Morganton. The child was transported to the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center by Harford County EMS and was pronounced deceased at approximately 6 a.m. Sunday.

Based on evidence obtained, which includes video footage, the child’s mother, Gloria Hughes, has been charged in this case. According to published reports, the video shows Hughes beating the child’s head against the ground multiple times. There are no additional suspects in this case and the Bel Air Police Department said in a news release that there was no threat to the community. The investigation remains active and a motive had yet to be determined.

The Bel Air Police Department was assisted by community members, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Harford County Child Advocacy Center, Maryland State Police, Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the Harford Department of Emergency Services.

Hughes was placed in the Harford County Detention Center without bond following her arrest. Published reports say a judge has ordered a competency evaluation.