A New York mother is facing charges of manslaughter after her 15-month-old succumbed to significant injuries, the Washington Post reports.
According to the Post, officials also believe that the child may have been put in a freezer, because her body was "extremely cold."
The incident unfolded around 5:30 a.m. Friday, when officers responded to a 911 call. The Post notes that the child, Samia Yusef, may have been dead for several hours when police discovered her. She was pronounced dead half an hour later.
“It was a gruesome discovery that shocked even our most senior officers on the job,” Mount Vernon, N.Y., Police Commissioner Ronald Fatigate said in a statement about the incident.
Samia's mother, 26-year-old De'Asia Bartee, is accused of hitting the toddler in the back "six to seven times" with a closed fist to stop the child from crying. Samia sustained injuries to her face and suffered a lumbar fracture and internal bleeding in the incident, which occurred just after 10 p.m. Thursday.
“This child clearly died a painful, horrible death,” Westchester County, N.Y., Assistant District Attorney Karen Herbert said during Bartee’s arraignment Monday, according to the Journal News.
According to the Journal News, prosecutors recommended that Bartee, who is facing a first-degree manslaughter charge, be held without bail or on at least a $1 million bail, but Judge William Edwards set bail at $50,000.