Four-year-old girl brutally killed by caretaker who was her biological mother's 'godsister'

Four-year-old girl brutally killed by caretaker who was her biological mother's 'godsister'
(Police Department)

A four-year-old girl was "killed brutally" after suffering "horrific" abuse at the hands of the person her mother trusted to care for the child. According to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, 38-year-old Samilya Brown was charged with murder, endangering the welfare of a child and related charges in connection with the October 30 death of little Zya Singleton.

The suspect previously told officials that Zya was playing with a cat when she accidentally fell out of a second-floor window in Philadelphia's Fairmount neighborhood. “That's not the truth,” Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner asserted on Tuesday. "The truth is that this child was killed, and killed brutally, and was abused for an extensive period of time."

Little Zya had bite marks, cigarette burns and open wounds on her face and scalp, according to the Philadelphia Medical Examiner's Office. They also found several puncture wounds across her body and showed signs of being malnourished. Zya eventually died after spending nearly a week in the hospital with multiple facial injuries.


"This is a horrific, heartbreaking case of abuse, neglect, and murder of an innocent, defenseless child," Krasner said. 

Brown, who is the godsister of Zya's mother Jasmine Singleton, is also married to Singleton's stepbrother.

The embattled mother spoke to NBC10 about her daughter's death on Tuesday evening. "I blame myself to be honest," she said. "I deal with this every day but no one will understand the pain that I go through every day knowing that I will never see my daughter again."

Singleton revealed that she had made an agreement with Brown two years ago and gave her custody of the girl. According to terms of the agreement, Singleton would take her daughter back after getting her life together. However, she had been looking for Zya for the past year.

"I want to know why you did this to my kid," Singleton told NBC10. "Because at the end of the day, that was my daughter. She has brothers and sisters out here that will never see her again."


The Department of Human Services has since removed Brown's own biological children from her care.

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