Channel 3 is learning more about the foster mom charged in the death of a toddler in her care.


Police charged Deborah Barnes with the boy's murder, but could not serve warrants for her arrest, because they say Barnes died of suicide.


Vincent Carter, who was almost two years old, died on September 13th. We now know he was in state custody and assigned to Deborah Barnes, who was approved as a foster parent in 2009 and has since fostered 44 children.


Police say Barnes was found dead Monday before she could be arrested for Carter's death.


Officers responded to a home near Highway 58 on September 10, where police say Carter was having trouble breathing. 

First responders began life-saving care before transporting him to a hospital. Carter died three days later.


According to a press release from the Chattanooga Police Department, investigators determined Carter's injuries were suspicious. On November 6, the Hamilton County Medical Examiner ruled his death a homicide, caused by multiple blunt force injuries to the head and neck.


Deborah Barnes was charged with Criminal Homicide, Aggravated Child Abuse, and Aggravated Child Neglect. But police were unable to serve her with those warrants.


Tuesday, police said Barnes was found dead in a parking lot from an apparent suicide.


A neighbor of Barnes was shocked to learn about the allegations and her friend's death.

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