A New York prosecutor said Sunday during a bond hearing that 9-year-old Shalom Guifarro cried out for her mother, Shemene Cato, 48, to help her before the child’s brutal death.
Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney David Ingle provided disturbing case details during a Sunday bond, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the incident happened in an apartment above a restaurant off of Lincoln Place in Crown Heights. Patrons at the restaurant below reportedly complained of a foul smell emanating from upstairs, “almost like sewage dripping into the restaurant from the apartment.”
Police arrived at the scene and found Shalom unresponsive after a 911 about the victim bering in distress. Shalom had had bites marks on her body and trauma to her head, police said. Patch reports that police found the little girl was unresponsive after a bed apparently been dropped on her while she was trying to hide from Cato.
“[Cato] lifted the bed and attempted to pull [Shalom] out from under the bed,” the criminal complaint read. “But [Cato] dropped the bed causing the leg to fall off the bed and the bed to fall on the head of Shalom Guifarro.”
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A medical examiner said the child died from a blunt-force impact that caused internal bleeding.
Shalom lived in the apartment with her mother and a 13-year-old sister. The older sibling reportedly told investigators about the beating carried out by Cato on the day in question.
The sister said that the girl’s mother “spanked” Shalom and put her in a time-out following a temper tantrum. The complaint filed on Tuesday accused Cato of beating the girls over a missing computer tablet. Shalom fled and hid under the bed, which Cato lifted and dropped on her head.
Neighbors told The New York Times that Cato was an “overprotective mother who seemed troubled.” She was said to have been abusive to her children, as well as her two dogs.
“She was crazy,” neighbor Rey Santiago said, adding that he saw the suspect once shove and yell at her daughter at a laundromat.
Cato was arraigned and charged with murder, manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment of a child, and a weapons charge. She remains behind bars without bail.
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