CINCINNATI — The office of Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced a murder indictment Thursday for LaTonya Austin after the body of Austin's 2-year-old granddaughter was found in a cooler on her property.
Austin was arrested and charged with gross abuse of a corpse in May. Court documents based on police testimony claim she “placed the deceased body of her granddaughter… into multiple trash bags, then placed the bags into a cooler” on April 9, 2021.
Now, the Hamilton County Coroner's Office ruled the child's death a homicide caused by blunt-force trauma. The coroner's office also said her body had various injuries incurred after she died.
Austin now faces one count of aggravated murder, two counts of murder, two counts of felonious assault, one count of tampering with evidence and one count of gross abuse of a corpse. Austin could face life in prison if convicted on all counts.
"As a father and a grandfather, I am sick," Deters said. "It is impossible to comprehend the depravity of an individual able to not only strike a 2-year-old so hard to cause her death, but to then attempt to conceal that crime by stuffing the child’s lifeless body into a cooler."