Frustrated caregiver kills two-year-old girl by repeatedly hitting her with a belt and burning her buttocks as punishment
34-year-old Shamonica Page and 38-year-old Dereck Roberson have been arrested by the Arlington Police Department in connection with the crime.
A two-year-old girl from Texas died after weeks of abuse where her caregiver repeatedly hit the toddler with a belt and burnt her buttocks as punishment for wetting herself, according to a police news release. The caregiver has been arrested and is now in police custody. The Arlington Police Department said in the release that deputies responded to the 800 block of Timberlake Drive at around 1:28 a.m on Saturday, November 17 in response to a report that a two-year-old was not breathing. The child, identified later as Aniyah Darnell, was transported to an area hospital for treatment but was declared dead shortly after.
The Daily Mail reported that 34-year-old Shamonica Page was arrested in connection to the death. She admitted to authorities that she had repeatedly struck the toddler with a belt after she became frustrated with the two-year-old soiling her clothes and wanted to "teach her a lesson." According to a police affidavit, Page had been taking care of Aniyah for the child's mother — whose relationship with the 34-year-old is currently unknown — since August because the mother was unable to do so herself.
She told investigators that she hit the child with a belt or by hand and that after she had burned the toddler's buttocks, she did not seek out medical help but instead attempted to treat the injuries using "home remedies." She also said she continued to administer the beatings on the injured area despite the serious burn.
Page was not the only suspect that the police arrested. Authorities also apprehended 38-year-old Dereck Roberson, who they say was present at the house during the commission of the crime. While the caregiver was charged with injury to a child, a first-degree felony, Roberson was charged with injury to a child by omission, a third-degree felony.
Speaking about the incident, Arlington Police Lt. Chris Cook told Fox4, "Based upon what we saw and the evidence at the scene, this child was injured by adults. It was a very difficult scene for us, as a matter of fact, we even sent out critical incident stress management team to meet with officers that had responded to this call."
An autopsy will be conducted by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office to determine the manner and cause of death and both Page and Roberson could see their charges upgraded depending on its results. The Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney's Office, Alliance For Children, and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services - Child Protective Services are also currently working on the case.
Deputies also found two other children at the home who have since been released into the custody of Texas Child Protective Services.