‘Just heartbreaking’: Memorial outside west Madison apartment remembers 20-month-old girl; death being investigated as homicide

MADISON, Wis. — Stuffed animals and toys sit outside a west Madison apartment complex where a 20-month-old girl was severely hurt before later dying.

The makeshift memorial, a collection of candles, balloons and toys, pays tribute to the girl, who died early Monday. Police officers who responded to the scene in the 5600 block of Schroeder Road found the girl critically injured; first responders rushed her to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Several people who live near the apartment complex paid their respects Tuesday afternoon, including Jazzman Brown, a leader in feeding Madison’s youth. Brown dropped off balloons and a teddy bear.

“It’s just part of what we do in the community is try and kind of heal the broken parts of our community, be a little stronger and help those in pain,” Brown said.

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Officers arrested 23-year-old Marshawn Giles in connection with the girl’s death. He is being held at the Dane County Jail on multiple tentative charges.

Brown had harsh words for Giles.

“You are a monster and you deserve whatever you get,” she said. “I could not imagine what would compel you to do something like this to a child and I have no sympathy.”

The case left Brown distraught.

“How could you not be heartbroken or just sad in general?” Brown said. “It’s a 20-month-old child; they are, for all aspects, completely innocent in this case. It’s just heartbreaking.”