A Florida foster mother of a 4-year-old girl has been charged with first-degree murder after a child had been beaten and strangled to death, police said.
Lakeisha Sonyae Mitchell, 41, told detectives the child had been “speaking with demons” and that she had previously tried to get help for the girl, according to court records obtained by Florida Today.
Mitchell was charged with first-degree murder on Sept. 10, weeks after Titusville police charged her with aggravated child neglect with great bodily harm, Florida Today reported.
Mitchell allegedly told police the girl had thrown herself down, and Mitchell believed she was faking unconsciousness, according to Florida Today.
She said she then placed the child in the tub, later finding her clothed, fully submerged and unresponsive in the tub, according to reports found by Florida Today.
Mitchell told investigators the child was prone to throwing temper tantrums and “pretending that her legs did not work,” according to Florida Today.
She also told officers the child would “fake” being unconscious or sleeping, Florida Today reported.
Police responded to Mitchell’s home in the 1000 block of Queen Street in Titusville, Florida, around 5:40 p.m. on Aug. 23, according to a news release from police.
The girl, who had bruises to the left eye, swelling on the forehead and scratches to the throat, was taken to Parrish Medical Center, according to Florida Today.
The girl was put on a ventilator and taken to the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, where she died on Aug. 25, according to Florida Today.
The medical examiner’s office found no evidence of drowning and cited the numerous injuries as the cause of death, Florida Today reported.
Mitchell is being held at the Brevard County Jail without bond, according to police.
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