Mom of girl found in refrigerator charged in death

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Thursday, December 4, 2014
Charges filed after child's body found in refrigerator
Amber Keyes, 35, is charged with injury to a child by omission

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The mother of a 9-year-old girl found dead in a refrigerator is now charged with her death.

Court papers show Amber Keyes, 35, is charged with injury to a child by omission.

Ayahna Comb, 9, was found dead in her mother's southwest Houston apartment on June 9. The girl's death was ruled a homicide on October 21.

Court papers show Keyes told authorities that when Ayahna died on January 29, she placed the girl body in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Keyes reportedly indicated the girl's body remained there until it was discovered on June 9. Keyes also indicated the refrigerator was used for food storage while Ayahna's body was inside, according to court papers.

Ayahna, who had cerebral palsy, weighed just 14 pounds at the time of her death. The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences ruled that neglect through malnutrition and dehydration, among other ailments including ulcers on her skin which infected her bone, led to her death.

Court documents allege Keyes said the girl had stopped eating. When asked why she wasn't taken for medical care, Keyes allegedly said she'd fallen behind because she'd been moving so much. However, court papers indicate that Keyes admitted to taking her younger daughter for medical checkups and immunizations.

One of Ayahna's former caretakers, cited in court documents, said the girl looked healthy in June 2013.

Court papers show that Keyes admitted to lying to friends and family about her daughter's whereabouts to hide her death. Ayahna hadn't been seen in months before she was discovered.

Keyes' 5-year-old daughter was put into CPS custody when Ayahna was found.