NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) – A Brooklyn mother is facing shocking charges in the death of her four-year-old daughter.
The girl, who was born with undeveloped lungs, weighed just 15 pounds. Now, her own mother is under arrest, accused of abuse.
“I didn’t kill my baby,” 30-year-old Carlotta Pierce said.
Pierce is charged with assault and reckless endangerment in connecting with the death of her shockingly fragile daughter, Marchella.
The girl was found dead in the third-floor apartment in Bushwick that she shared with her mother and two brothers.
“My heart goes out to that little baby,” one neighbor said.
Neighbors tended to a sidewalk memorial for the girl, who was born with undersized lungs, had trouble breathing and spent much of her life in hospitals.
“She loved her Cabbage Patch Doll and her Dora doll,” neighbor Jaquan Kinsey said.
Kinsey said Pierce seemed to be overwhelmed by her daughter’s chronic illness, but also appeared to be caring.
“She’s a good parent. I don’t know what happened behind closed doors, but outdoors she was a good parent,” Kinsey said.
Police say that inside the messy apartment, there was twine on and near Marchella’s crib, and her body was found with bruising around the girl’s ankles.
The Administration for Children’s Services confirmed the family had an active case file and city workers had checked in on them throughout the summer.
As city agencies continue their investigations, Pierce’s six-year-old and nine-month-old sons are in protective custody.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said much of the case rests on the reports from the medical examiner.
“We are still waiting for the autopsy results,” Kelly said.