A New Jersey toddler screamed in agony as she was tortured, raped and eventually murdered by her mother’s boyfriend, The Trentonian reports.
Authorities have reportedly accused Maison Andres Torres, 25, of killing 2-year-old Lia Victoria Merino-Rodriguez in August.
Torres had moved into his girlfriend’s Trenton, New Jersey, home two weeks after the couple met, according to the report.
The murder happened about a month later, on August 21. Torres reportedly admitted to police that he woke up angry that day and put the girl in a bathtub, where he poured buckets of scalding hot water on her.
The girl shrieked in pain, but Torres continued to pour hot water over her, authorities said.
He then brought the girl into a bedroom, punched her face and body and then allegedly suffocated her with his hands as the helpless tot fought back.
According to the news outlet, Torres initially told police the girl had fallen down the steps while she was playing with a baby carriage.
The toddler was rushed to a hospital where she was later pronounced dead, WCAU-TV reports.
The girl’s mother told Telemundo 62 that at first she had no reason to suspect Torres of hurting her daughter.
“He told me to leave her with him, that he would take care of her that day, and so I left her,” the mother told the news station, speaking in Spanish. “He always behaved well with her, we’d always go to the park, to eat, to have an ice cream in the evening. Truthfully, I never suspected him.”
She added: “May he rot in prison. Death will not be enough for him for all that he did to my girl.”
Neighbor Oscar Martínez told WCAU-TV that he had just returned home from work when he saw a disturbance at the home where the girl lived. He ran inside and saw the girl, who he said was “alone in the room.”
“I saw some six bruises here on her forehead. On the side of her face it looked like he had hit her like this,” Martínez told the television station.
Martinez said he attempted to find a pulse on the girl, but nothing registered. She “was cold,” he said.
Torres is charged with murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault and two counts of child endangerment.
A judge on Thursday ordered Torres to remain in jail pending trial.