ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Two adults have been charged with injury to a child after a two-year-old girl died early Saturday morning in Arlington, police say.
Police say officers responded to the 800 block of Timberlake Drive around 1:30 a.m. in regards to a two-year-old child not breathing. She was taken a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.
According to police, after they interviewed multiple witnesses, two people were initially arrested for outstanding misdemeanor warrants. They arrested Shamonica Page for warrants out of Pantego and Derick Roberson for warrants out of Fort Worth.
During the investigation, police charged Page with injury to a child, a first-degree felony, and Roberson with injury to a child by omission, a third-degree felony. Police say the child was seriously injured when they found her.
“We believe there was human intervention that caused this child to stop breathing and to sustain the injuries that she had. Based upon that, and the interviews we received this afternoon, we upgraded those charges to injury to a child first-degree felony for the woman, and a third-degree injury to a child by omission for the man we arrested,” said Arlington Police Lt. Chris Cook.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner identified the child as Aniyah Darnell.
According to the affidavit, Page had started taking care of Aniyah for the child’s mother in August. The suspect admitted to striking the two-year-old with a belt numerous times as punishment.
Page also told police she was the only one who struck the child with a belt or hand. During the interview, she said the child received a serious burn injury on her buttocks and that she never tried to get medical help for the two-year-old, trying “home remedies” instead. Page admitted to continue to strike Aniyah with a belt or hand on the injured area despite the serious burn.
There were two other children at the scene, and they were released to Child Protective Services.