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Civil commitment proceedings stalled in death of 6-year-old child

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A second opinion will be sought before a Bemidji woman accused of manslaughter in the death of a 6-year-old child can be civilly committed by the court as mentally ill.

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Rachel Downer, 22, was charged with second-degree manslaughter after her 6-year-old cousin, Mercedes Mayfield, died while in her care. Mercedes was found outside an apartment complex in Bemidji on Feb. 27. The cause of death was hypothermia.

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