Officers responded to the scene and found the girl — who appeared to be between 5 and 7 years of age — inside a plastic tote. Police noted the girl had injuries all over her body that were in various stages of healing, including scars, KPHO reported.
On Christmas Day, a longtime friend of 38-year-old Sophia Simmons called Phoenix police and claimed Simmons admitted to beating her daughter and that she “went too far,” officials said.
Simmons allegedly told her friend that she left the home and returned to find her daughter not breathing, KPHO reported.
According to police, the mother allegedly kept her daughter in a trash can inside their home for five days before discarding her body in a dumpster four miles away, the Arizona Republic reported.
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Investigators obtained surveillance footage, which allegedly showed Simmons’ townhome with a garden hose going through the front door and her furniture outside. At the townhome, officers reportedly noticed water all over the home and the cushions to the couch were missing. Her front door was open and a smoke alarm was going off, KPHO reported.
Detectives were able to track Simmons’ phone, which showed her traveling from California to Arizona. Phone records also showed her phone was in the vicinity of the dumpster where her daughter’s body was found, officials said.
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During her initial court appearance, prosecutors said Simmons has at least one previous conviction in Minnesota for “malicious punishment of a child,” according to KPHO.
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