NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– The stepmother of a 9-year-old girl who was found lifeless in her bathtub Friday evening has been charged with second-degree murder.

Authorities arrested 55-year-old Shamdai Arjun, of Queens, on Saturday afternoon.

Family members waited anxiously outside of the 102nd police precinct for answers as they mourned the loss of Ashdeep Kaur, CBS2’s Magdalena Doris reported.

The medical examiner is still working to determine the cause of Ashdeep’s death. Police said she was found naked and bruised inside her home on 112th Street Friday evening.

“She was in the tub, it was not water but she was in the tub,” relative Manjinder Singh said. 

The girl’s father found her when he returned home, after asking the super to unlock the apartment door. He was overcome with grief and fainted at the scene.

“Suddenly he got shock, they put him in the ambulance. we’re all crying here,” a neighbor said. 

Neighbors said Ashdeep moved from India to be in the care of her father and his wife three months ago. Family members said the girl told them about past abuse at the hands of her stepmother.

“The little one told me always that she sometimes beat her up,” Singh said.

Sources told CBS2 two other children found in the stepmother’s care are now in the custody of ACS. The medical examiner is working to determine the cause of the 9-year-old’s death.



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