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Cousin charged with murder in freezing death of Bemidji child

On February 27th, 2014, at 6:23 a.m. the Bemidji Police Department, along with members of Bemidji Ambulance, Bemidji Fire and the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, responded to a weather related medical call at  924 Carter Circle SE, Bemidji, MN. Upon arrival officers discovered a 6 year old female who was unresponsive. She had signs of being exposed to the frigid elements and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The Bemidji Police Department has been working tirelessly to establish the details, timeline and cause for the exposure death of six year old Mercedes Mayfield. The Bemidji Police Detectives have worked closely with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, Beltrami County Social Services, Beltrami County Attorney’s Office and the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office to assure all evidence has been collected and processed during this exhaustive investigation.

On March 14th Rachel Downer, age 22 of Bemidji, was arrested and booked for 2nd degree Manslaughter and felony Neglect of a child. Rachel Downer is a cousin of Mercedes Mayfield.