Rachel Downer, 22, Arrested After 6-Year-Old Cousin Freezes To Death Outside Home


Rachel Downer, 22, has been arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter and felony neglect of a child in connection with her six-year-old cousin’s death by freezing.

Mercedes Mayfield, 6, was pronounced dead on the morning of February 27 in front of the entrance to an apartment building in Bemidjii, Minnesota.

She was discovered by her mother and a neighbor, who both called 911 immediately.

It was too late. Mercedes was pronounced deceased at the scene, reports the Daily Mail.

"The child had signs of being exposed to the frigid elements,” a police press release said.

Temperatures the night of February 26 were reported as being nearly 30 degrees-below-zero with windchill of -40.

When found, Mercedes was wearing a coat, boots, hat, and mittens; it is unclear how she got outside but it is believed that she was there overnight.

Mercedes died of hypothermia, reports NY Daily News.

Downer has been arrested in connection with the child’s death, but investigators have not revealed the details around the charges. 

On the day of Mercedes’ death, Downer posted multiple photo collages on Facebook featuring Mercedes. The accompanying status update read, “R.I.P Gone but never forgotten.”


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