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Woman charged with manslaughter in hypothermia death

Forum News Service

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji woman who was arrested last week in connection with the February hypothermia death of a 6-year-old girl, has been charged with second-degree felony manslaughter.

Court documents released Monday said Rachel Downer, 22, is accused of causing the death of another through committing or attempting to commit child neglect or endangerment. The charge carries a possible penalty of 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both, according to the court documents. Mercedes Mayfield, 6, was found dead at the apartment building she lived at in south Bemidji on Feb. 27. Autopsy results showed she had died of hypothermia after being exposed to frigid conditions.

Downer's next court date is March 24. The court set unconditional bail at $100,000. Downer bailed out Monday, according to Beltrami County Jail officials.