A 3-year-old girl was brutally beaten to death in Brooklyn, apparently for the simple “crime” of soiling herself.
The toddler, Jeida Torres, was in the dubious care of Kelsey Smith, her mother’s boyfriend, when the horrific incident occurred Saturday. According to the New York Daily News, Smith, 20, became “enraged” when the girl had an accident in her pants. He proceeded to punch and choke the little girl, inflicting fatal injuries to her head and body.
Someone called 911 to report screams coming from the homeless shelter apartment Jeida shared with her mother, Kimberly, and her 5-year-old brother, Andrew. Responding to the call, police came upon the terrible scene of the dying toddler, who was in cardiac arrest. They also found her brother, who had also sustained injuries, though his were apparently not life threatening. The girl was rushed to the hospital, but it was too late. She was declared dead on arrival.
Kimberly Torres and Jeida’s grandfather wept inconsolably after coming home from work to find out her daughter was dead.
Kelsey Smith, after beating Jeida and her brother, fled the scene. He was apprehended by authorities in large part due to a tip regarding his whereabouts. He reportedly tried to cut himself in a failed attempt at suicide before he was caught. Smith has a long history of run-ins with the law, stretching back to 2008. He has had multiple robbery charges, including grand larceny. He has also been slapped with a gang assault charge, and also has criminal mischief on his record.
Mark Almodovar, Smith’s uncle, has come forward to defend his nephew.
“When I heard about it I was shocked. The kid, he’s not that type of person. They said he was a monster – he’s not a monster!”
The couple’s neighbors in the shelter claim to have been hearing persistent fighting between Torres and Smith for weeks.
“You could hear the arguments,” said fellow resident Giovany Rodriguez. “Just going up the stairs you could hear them screaming… You knew they were arguing because you could hear the kids crying.”
Jeida’s death has raised concerns about child abuse in New York City’s homeless shelters. If there’s any bright spot in connection with this tragedy, it is the hope that other children could be saved from the same fate.
As of yet, no charges have been filed against Smith, despite the terrible fact that a defenseless girl has been beaten to death.
[Image via New York Daily News]