DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The night before 1-year-old Amira Fleming died, she looked like her usual smiling self.
“I’d been trying to get her to say G-mama for the longest,” recalls Nicole Benton. “That night she finally put the words together.”
Benton says it was one of the best moments of her life, but also one of the last with her granddaughter.
“I adored her. I loved her so much,” she said, letting tears run down her face.
Police reports show Amira’s mother’s boyfriend, DeMarcus Johnson, called 911 on September 5 to report she had suddenly stopped breathing.
“They said her heart had stopped three times and they were trying to bring her back,” said Donja Daniels, Amira’s father.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner found Amira died from “blunt force trauma to her head and abdomen”.
Doctors told the family she had a fractured skull, broken bones, and internal bleeding, symptoms of “severe… physical abuse.”
“Every day I try so hard to be strong. But it’s very hard. She was only one,” said Renee Fleming, Amira’s mother.
She says she trusted Johnson with her daughter, while she was at work.
“He knew what I was trying to do for her. He knew the life I was trying to pursue for her,” she said. “She was just everything. She was my everything.”
Amira’s parents and grandmother say they want to know what happened.
“I want DeMarcus to tell us why. Why did he do this?” asked Benton.
Then, they say, they want to see him pay.
“Once I find out why. I just want him gone, locked away, ‘cause my baby didn’t deserve this at all,” said Fleming.
Johnson is charged with Injury to a Child.
Police reports show he told a detective he was the adult caring for Amira the night she died. He claimed she suddenly became sick and unresponsive, but that she didn’t suffer any injuries.