A TWO-year-old girl has died after a caregiver allegedly hit her with a belt and burned her bottom as punishment for wetting herself, say police.
Shamonica Page, 34, was taken into custody after toddler Aniyah Darnell was pronounced dead at a hospital in Arlington, Texas.
Cops were called to an apartment on Saturday morning after being told that the child was found not breathing.
According to a search warrant affidavit, she had severe injuries, including a bad burn on her backside that was weeks old.
Aniyah’s death led to the arrest of Shamonica Page and Derick Roberson, 38, who cops said was present during the commission of the crime, reports Fox 4.
Both are in jail, charged with injury to a child. Neither are related to her.
An affidavit says Page admitted she repeatedly struck Aniyah where she had suffered previous burns to her bottom, and that she didn’t seek medical help for those injuries.
Instead, she used “home remedies” on the girl’s burns.
Police records said that the caregiver started caring for Aniya as a favour to the girl’s mother in August.
However, her precise relationship to the toddler is unclear at this stage.
Page allegedly told cops she would hit the child multiple times with a belt to discipline her as “she was frustrated with the victim going to the bathroom in her clothes and pull-ups and was trying to teach the victim ‘a lesson’,” the affidavit said.
An autopsy will determine the cause of the tot’s death.
Two other children in the home have been placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.
Arlington Police Lt. Chris Cook alleged: “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.”
Police said a third adult came to the apartment and was so appalled by what he saw, he called 911.
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Two other children who live at the home have been put in foster care.
Child Protective Services said they had prior contact with the family, but the reports did not involve Aniyah, who would have turned three in March.
Neighbours at the apartment complex were upset to learn what had happened to the girl.
Jessie Farris said: “I have six children of my own and six grandchildren of my own. I don’t think I could stand it if I lost one of them.”
Police say the charges for Page and Roberson could be upgraded depending on the autopsy results.
A version of this story first appeared on Fox 4