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Oskaloosa Mother Charged in Baby's Death Back in Jail

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OSKALOOSA, Iowa - An Oskaloosa mother charged in the death of her 18-month-old girl is back in jail after posting bond Wednesday.

Alicia Marie Ritenour, 20, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Ava. Police found the baby dead inside an Oskaloosa apartment January 24th. Investigators said she had been dead for "a significant period of time."

An autopsy determined the cause of death to be trauma to the head, police said.

Authorities said "a witness has stated that he heard a loud thump during the middle of the previous night coming from the room where the infant sleeps while the mother was alone in the room with the infant."

Authorities held Ritenour in the Mahaska County jail until she posted $125,000 bond Wednesday. Friday Ritenour was back in jail with bond set at $500,000.

Authorities said their investigation of the case is ongoing.

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