It seems news of abuse resulting in the death of children, especially toddlers, has run rampant lately. Earlier this week, baby Samia Yusef was reportedly beaten repeatedly with closed fists by her mother, Dasia Bartee, then possibly placed in the freezer. It is unclear if the baby girl was still alive when her tiny body entered the frigid temperature of the freezer. Dasia Bartee (some news sites spell her name as “De’Asia”) has been indicted on charges of first degree manslaughter.
Dasia Bartee is the mother of three girls, reports the Washington Post. At only 15 months old, baby Samia is Bartee’s youngest. Dasia and her children were at home with three other adults, an aunt and two grandparents, when the toddler was injured. Samia’s siblings, ages 6 and 9, were in attendance as well, but were uninjured. It is difficult to imagine the horror these two innocent kids experienced while their baby sister was allegedly beaten.
— Magdalena Doris (@MagdalenaDoris) August 8, 2016
The baby’s aunt called 911 around 5:30 in the evening, reporting the child was found unresponsive in a bedroom.
Mount Vernon police state the baby girl’s body was found to be exceedingly cold, leading them to believe the toddler had spent some time in a freezer before authorities were called. Samia’s face was marked from trauma. The Inquisitr previously reported that the toddler was likely dead for several hours before the authorities were notified.
Indeed, as the investigation went on, it was learned that not only had Dasia Bartee’s toddler been struck in the face, but she was also punched with a closed fist “six or seven” times in the back. The beating must have been severe, as the toddler suffered from a lumbar fracture, internal bleeding, and the aforementioned facial trauma before being placed in the freezer. According to the Journal News, Dasia Bartee turned to violence when her toddler would not stop crying.
Mayor Richard Thomas was shocked at the news, echoing the thoughts of the community when he said, “No child, no infant, no toddler should be subjected to that type of violence. Tragic deaths such as Samia’s do not have to happen.”
Dasia Bartee was reportedly seen on Thursday, just two days before Samia’s death was discovered, with the baby. Though the toddler was crying, it is reported she appeared to be uninjured. Authorities believe the toddler could have died as early as Thursday evening. Ronald Fatigate, Mount Vernon police commissioner, said any infant death is taken very seriously.
“Any time there’s an infant death, absolutely, you treat it as if it’s a homicide. It’s not the norm for a child to die. For any parent, as the mayor said, it’s something, we go to the next level.”
Apparently, neighbors in Dasia Bartee’s apartment building believed her to be a good mother who would never hurt her children. No one knows, however, what goes on behind the privacy of a closed door. Child Protective Services are very aware of Dasia Bartee, and have investigated her on several instances.
UPDATE: Horrific crime in #MtVernon.Police say mom killed toddler and likely put her in freezerhttps://t.co/MJElweEiPj
— Tara Rosenblum (@tararosenblum) August 7, 2016
One neighbor, Theodore Wells, expressed anger that something so violently painful could be inflicted on a child when Child Protective Services should have been monitoring the safety and welfare of the children in the Bartee home.
“I won’t understand why, if our system is working, why a baby’s dead and there were people helping them to try and monitor them; supposed to be giving them assistance.”
The Inquisitr reports of another toddler girl, Angela Dufrene, who went missing last November, and has only recently come to the attention of authorities, even though the Department of Children and Families had removed three older children from the home in previous years. The mother is suspected of murder in that situation as well, though police have yet to find a body.
Though prosecutors sought a $1 million bail for Dasia Bartee in the death of toddler Samia Yusef, the bail was set at $50,000.
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