A Texas toddler died over the weekend after she was allegedly beaten and burned by her caregiver because she apparently had potty-training accidents, police say.
Authorities said 2-year-old Aniyah Darnell succumbed to her injuries after officials responded to a call at an Arlington home on Saturday. The caller reportedly informed officers that “a child wasn’t breathing,” ABC 13 reports, citing court documents.
Police subsequently arrested Sharmonica Page and Derick Roberson on charges related to the death.
According to an affidavit obtained by the news station, Page confessed to having hit Aniyah repeatedly with a belt when she had troubles with potty-training. Officials reportedly said the female suspect “would strike the victim with a belt on numerous occasions as a form of discipline and/or punishment she was frustrated with her for going to the bathroom in her clothes/pull-ups and was trying to teach her a lesson.”
Shamonica Page & Derick Roberson charged with injury to a child related to the death of 2yr old Aniyah Darnell. Search warrant affidavit says Page admitted to hitting the girl w/ a belt multiple times to teach her a "lesson" because she was wetting her clothes and pullups @FOX4 pic.twitter.com/Jra7kp4mGD
— Lynnanne Nguyen (@LynnanneFOX4) November 18, 2018
Further, the affidavit also alleges that Page knew about “a severe burn” on the tot’s behind, but failed to seek medical attention for the little girl. Despite the injury, police said the child was still repeatedly beaten by the suspect.
“We believe there was human intervention that caused this child to stop breathing and to sustain the injuries that she had,” Lt. Chris Cook told KTVT. “Based upon that, and the interviews we received…we upgraded the 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 [Roberson] that we arrested.”
While her exact relationship to the victim isn’t clear, Page reportedly told police that she began providing care to Aniyah in August as a favor to the toddler’s biological mother. The state purportedly removed two other children from the home.
The official cause of the little girl’s death is pending an autopsy.
Page remains behind bars at Arlington Jail, while Roberson is jailed at the Tarrant County Correction Center.
This is a developing story. Check back with CrimeOnline for the latest updates.
[Feature photo: Aniyah Darnell/ABC 13 screengrab]