California woman charged for torturing, abusing 7-year-old stepdaughter who was found dead covered in bruises
38-year-old Takiesha Williams was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the May 23 death of her stepdaughter Billie Williams in Stockton
A stepmother is facing torture and child abuse charges following the death of a seven-year-old girl in her home. 38-year-old Takiesha Williams was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the May 23 death of her stepdaughter Billie Williams in Stockton, California. According to a Change.org petition calling for Takiesha's arrest that was created before she was taken into custody, four police officers who responded to the home allegedly found the youngster covered in bruises and other injuries.
While authorities are yet to elaborate on the charges, the seven-year-old child was subjected to "unjustifiable physical pain and mental suffering", according to the Superior Court of California in San Joaquin County. Billy Dee Williams, the deceased child's biological father, was also arrested and arraigned in court on May 27 on one count of felony torture and six counts of felony child abuse in connection with the seven-year-old's death. Investigators are yet to reveal why Takiesha's arrest came almost three weeks after Billy's. "Soon as the police came they took him into jail and then she (Takiesha) get to stay in the house," one unnamed family member told Fox 40 at the time of Billy Dee Williams' arrest. "But I feel like if you at the house when a child die, everyone in the house should go to jail."
Officers shared their disbelief when they discovered the young girl unresponsive on May 23 and had to pronounce her dead at the scene. They were called to the home to conduct a welfare check and Takiesha was home with the kids at the time. "It’s just very disheartening," said Stockton Police Officer Joe Silva. "Everyone’s wondering how could this father do this to his small daughter."
According to a representative with the Stockton Police Department, five other children who were at the home at the time were taken into protective custody by Child Protective Services (CPS). As of now, Takiesha Williams is facing six counts of felony child abuse and failure to protect, as well as one count of torture. "I was just thankful that the arrest was made to get her off of the streets so this wouldn't happen to another child," Danielle Bailey, cousin to the little girl, told ABC10 after Takiesha's arrest. "You know she should have been where she should have been from day one. She's right where she should have been from day one," said Annette Williams, the little girl's aunt.
“Sweet little girl that did not get a chance to grow up. She was robbed of her life. She was robbed of her innocence,” Billie’s great grandmother Carolyn Bryant said after her tragic demise. “I can’t find words. Only thing I can find is pain right now."
The Stockton Police Department is still looking for more details and has solicited the public's help in the active case investigation. "This is still an active investigation and we're still asking for people if they have information in regards to the family dynamics what was going on inside that home to please give us a call," Officer Silva announced.
If you have any suspicions or information related to someone being abused, you are encouraged to call the local hotline at 209-464-4524.