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Mother’s boyfriend arrested for murder of 5-year-old Vancouver girl

Police are investigating the death of a 5-year-old girl that took place in Vancouver on Friday. Credit: Washington State Department of Corrections

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KPTV) — Police are investigating the death of a 5-year-old girl in Vancouver.

Officers said they responded to Madison Park Apartments located in the 12000 block of NE 28th Street around 5 p.m. Friday (Nov. 2).

When officers arrived, they found first responders with 5-year-old Hartley Anderson, who was unconscious and had severe head trauma.

Police said Hartley was in the care of her mother’s boyfriend, identified as Ryan Burge, 37.

Burge told investigators that the child had injured herself while having a tantrum, according to police.

Police said Hartley was taken to the hospital, where she later died.

The little girl’s family is in shock from Friday’s ordeal.

“You just get so sick, you know, so many different emotions,” Whitney Luchau, Hartley’s aunt said.

But family members tell us they won’t be coming to any conclusions until they have all the facts of that night.

“We don’t know exactly what happened, but if he did, how dare him,” TJ Luchau, Hartley’s uncle, said.

Detectives from the Vancouver Police Major Crime Unit and Children’s Justice Center were contacted and later arrested Burge for second-degree murder.

Vancouver police are still investigating her death and the family says their sister, Hartley’s mom, is too shaken to give them details.

So they said instead, they’re trying to focus on the positive memories.

That even in the heartbreak, this little girl still makes them smile.

“She was just, like, one of a kind. Her personality was amazing, just a ball of fire,” TJ said.

FOX 12 found that Burge has a criminal history dating back to 1999.

He faced charges for domestic violence and harassment.

He was charged for arson but that was dismissed and he was convicted of malicious mischief in 2001.