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Father arrested on child endangerment charge in 8-year-old Normal girl's death

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BLOOMINGTON — Rica Rountree’s father was arrested Tuesday afternoon in connection with the 8-year-old girl's death.

Richard Rountree, 31, was arrested on a warrant charging him with child endangerment “for circumstances surrounding the death of his minor daughter,” according to a statement from Normal Police Chief Rick Bleichner.

Rica died Jan. 26, 2019, of peritonitis due to intestinal perforation from blunt force trauma, according to court documents. In November, a McLean County jury found Rountree’s girlfriend, Cynthia Baker, guilty of murder, aggravated battery of a child, child endangerment and three counts of domestic battery.

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The circumstances of Rica’s death remain under investigation, Bleichner said.

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Police did not specify the role they believe Rountree played in the girl's death.

“The Normal Police Department and McLean County State’s Attorney’s Office continue to work jointly analyzing the nearly half a terabyte of electronic data, dozens of witness interviews and statements, medical records and other information gathered in this matter,” he wrote. “What charges are brought, and when they are filed, in this case are the result of the ongoing, deliberate, and methodical process which began in January of 2019."

State’s Attorney Don Knapp was not available for comment Tuesday.

Rountree’s bond information was not available.

Contact Kelsey Watznauer at (309) 820-3254. Follow her on Twitter: @kwatznauer.

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