ARLINGTON, Texas -- Police in the Fort Worth area say a 2-year-old girl died after a caregiver hit her with a belt and burned her buttocks for discipline as part of potty training.
Police were called to an apartment in Arlington early Saturday because a child wasn't breathing. Aniyah Darnell was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Shamonica Page and Derick Roberson are now in custody for Aniyah's death. An affidavit says Page admitted she repeatedly struck Aniyah and that she didn't seek medical help for the burn. She told police she had been caring for Aniyah since August for the girl's mother. Her precise relationship to Aniyah is unclear.
Court documents state that Page "would strike the victim with a belt on numerous occasions as a form of discipline and/or punishment she was frustrated with her for going to the bathroom in her clothes/pull-ups and was trying to teach her a lesson."
Lt. Chris Cook told KTVT-TV, "We believe there was human intervention that caused this child to stop breathing and to sustain the injuries that she had. Based upon that, and the interviews we received ... we upgraded the charges to injury to a child first degree felony for the woman, and a third degree injury to a child by omission for the man that we arrested."
The documents claim repeated abuse. She "admitted that the victim had what appeared to be a severe burn on her buttocks but tried 'home remedies' to heal the injury, and would continue to discipline and punish the toddler by striking her in the injured area with a belt or her hand."
An autopsy will determine the cause of death.
Two other children in the home have been placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
2-year-old Texas girl beaten to death as punishment for potty training accidents: Police
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