ARLINGTON, Texas - The death of a 2-year-old girl in Arlington last month was no accident, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner.
A newly released medical examiner’s report listed Aniyah Darnell's cause of death as "battered child with dehydration." Her death was also labeled a homicide.
Aniyah was found unresponsive in an apartment in east Arlington on Nov. 17. She was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Investigators were immediately suspicious because of the toddler’s injuries. According to a search warrant affidavit, she had severe injuries including a bad burn on her backside that was weeks old.
Police ended up arresting Shamonica Page and Derick Roberson for injury to a child. Neither is related to the little girl. Page reportedly began caring for her in August as a favor to the girl’s mother.
Page told police she hit Aniyah multiple times with a belt as punishment because “she was frustrated with the victim going to the bathroom in her clothes and Pull-Ups and was trying to teach the victim ‘a lesson.”
The police record also states she admitted to hitting Aniyah where she had a previous burn and not seeking medical help. Roberson was present during the crime, police said.
The charges against Page and Roberson are expected to be upgraded based on the results of the autopsy.
The little girl's maternal grandfather, Ronnie Ingram, told FOX 4 in November that he hadn't seen Aniyah or his daughter since August. He was heartbroken to learn about her death and said he still hadn't spoken to his daughter.