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Updated: Ayven Shepard, injured infant, has died

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Ayven Jayce Shepard, the Bemidji infant who was allegedly critically injured in December while at day care, died Thursday.

Ayven suffered high-force head trauma Dec. 18 when was 7 months old.

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His aunt, Kayla Nickerson, spokeswoman for the family, confirmed to the Pioneer Thursday afternoon that Ayven had died.

A funeral is being planned.

His CaringBridge Web site Wednesday afternoon reported that his heart rate increased and his oxygen level dropped.

The doctors believe he may have a blood clot or bleeding in his head, the Web site reported.

"So now its my time to snuggle him and love on him til God takes him to heaven to be our ANGEL," it says on the Web site.

The Web site offered an update early Thursday morning.

"Ayven is still with us and I will keep posting on here until something changes," the site reported just after 2 a.m. "Thank you again to all!!! We cant stress that enough."

Ayven's CaringBridge Web site can be found at www.caringbridge.org/visit/ayvenshepard.

Two Bemidji residents have been charged in relation to Ayven's injuries. Timothy Kenneth Lundberg, 29, has been charged with felony first-degree assault causing great bodily harm. Brenda Kala Hertel, 22, has been charged with felony neglect or endangerment of a child.

Ayven's mother, Kristin Shepard, had hired Hertel and Lundberg to care for the infant and another child from about 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to the complaint.

Ayven was happy and healthy when Kristin Shepard left him with his caregivers the morning of Dec. 18, according to the complaint. She received a call at 5:07 p.m. from Hertel saying that she couldn't wake the baby. Hertel asked if she should call 911 and Kristin Shepard told her to do so.

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