A 16-year-old girl smothered her 3-year-old sister to death with a pillow, seeking to keep her quiet while their mother was working, according to police in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Now, the teenager has been charged with manslaughter.
The family was at an extended stay hotel called the MainStay Suites, officers have said.
“On July 15, 2022, the Altamonte Springs Police Department responded to Raymond Ave. regarding an unresponsive juvenile,” cops said. “The juvenile was transported to the hospital, where she was pronounced deceased.”
The child’s 16-year-old sister put a pillow over her to, in the press release’s words, “quiet her down.”
“When she returned to the room, her sister was unresponsive,” cops said.
“Mom was home at the time,” Altamonte police spokesperson Officer Michelle Montalvo told WESH. “She was working from home.”
The mother was in one room using a laptop and phone for work, cops reportedly said. She had her 16-year-old daughter care for the little sister.
The mother had allegedly told the older girl to “keep her sister quiet since she was on the phone for work.”
The 16-year-old returned to the room 10 minutes after putting the pillow on her, officers said. The 3-year-old was unresponsive.
She carried the girl to her mother, who called 911 and began doing CPR.
From 911 audio (h/t WTXF):
DISPATCHER: Is she breathing?
CALLER: She’s unconscious. I don’t know. She’s not breathing.
DISPATCHER: How is the baby?
CALLER: No, she’s not responsive; her lips are turning blue!
The child was pronounced dead at a hospital, according to authorities in the WESH report.
“It’s very tragic,” Montalvo said. “It’s a 3-year-old, a very young, young child. 16-years-old is also young. A mother loses both daughters in one night because the 16-year-old was arrested that night.”
“It’s something where parents need to reach out to family members or friends or someone from their village or their community to come help out, do so,” Montalvo said. “We don’t want to see a tragedy like this happen.”
Detectives responded to the scene and after interviews, found probable cause to arrest the sibling, Charlise Bell for violating FSS 782.07(1) Manslaughter.
If anyone has additional information, please contact the ASPD at (407)339-2441 or dial 911.
[Screenshot via WKMG]
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