An Orange County, Florida, mother is in jail on charges of second degree murder after her 2-year-old daughter died. Amanda Berard, 23, admitted to forcefully slamming her daughter onto the floor, where she hit her head, because the child would not remain still during a diaper change. Berard blames a stressful day at work for the incident.
According to the police report, Amanda Berard “forcefully placed her on her back,” referring to the young daughter, Aaliyah. The incident occurred inside her home in the Buchanan Bay Townhomes near the Mall at Millenia. During the incident, the toddler’s head hit the floor. Berard felt bad for her actions and cuddled her daughter in an attempt to comfort her. When the child stopped crying and fell asleep, Berard tucked her in like she always did. According to the Orange County Sheriff’s department, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel, Berard did not feel her daughter suffered serious injuries.
“Berard advised she did not think her daughter was affected by hitting her head on the floor.”
Berard’s roommate, Tikarra Jackson, arrived home at approximately 7 a.m. to care for Aaliyah, as well as her own son. At the time, both children were sleeping. Nearly two hours later, Tikarra’s son woke her to say Aaliyah had collapsed on the floor. Tikarra rushed to the young girl and called Berard to report the incident. Berard responded by telling Tikarra to give Aaliyah a warm bath. Alliyah was unresponsive and the paramedics were called. Aaliyah was pronounced dead at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.
Aaliyah’s father, Thomas Seymour, was devastated to hear of his daughter’s death.
“I will never be able to hold my daughter again. Her sister lost her best friend. How do you explain to your 3-year-old that [her] sister is gone because of [her] mother?”
Seymour told WESH that he knew Aaliyah and her sister were in an abusive environment, and has been working to gain custody of both girls. He stated that their caseworker refused to remove his daughters from the abusive environment.
“This has been going on for a while. When she was in Oklahoma she got calls. They had chance to take them. they refused to do it my daughter is gone.”
He has not stopped fighting to gain custody of his 3-year-old daughter.
Unlike Florida Tot Mom Casey Anthony, who was found not guilty of killing her daughter, Berard’s case seems to be open and closed.
[Photo Courtesy: My News 13]