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Michigan Mother Believed 8-Year-Old Daughter Possessed, Fatally Beat Her Until She Was 'Unrecognizable': Cops

Mich. Woman Accused of Fatally Beating Daughter Believed Was Possessed
Source: Metro Detroit Police Department; Unsplash

Chelsea Duperon told her boyfriend that she thought her daughter was possessed by spirits, officials said.

Mar. 20 2024, Published 4:01 p.m. ET

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A Michigan woman has been arrested in connection with the alleged beating death of her 8-year-old daughter, who she believed was possessed, according to authorities.

Around 7:30 a.m. on March 16, police responded to a home in Wayne and discovered 8-year-old Lyla Cassel with severe bruising and swelling to her head and neck, according to court documents obtained by WJBK.

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Lyla died at the hospital, and her mother, 30-year-old Chelsea Duperon, is believed to have beaten her three days earlier, officials said.

Duperon initially told police that her daughter fell down the stairs. She eventually admitted to hitting her daughter several days before her death, but she claimed not to remember the incident even though her daughter told her about it, court documents allege.

Court documents show Duperon allegedly told her boyfriend that her daughter was possessed. He told police that he came home from work and found Cassel lying “all swolled up” on the kitchen floor.

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He told investigators he picked her up and put her in bed, but he did not take her to the hospital because she was not his daughter and he wasn't sure what to do. She told him she was listening to music when her mother allegedly attacked her, cops said. She also said she hid, but her mother tricked her out of hiding and allegedly assaulted her while pouring water on her.

According to authorities, investigators believe Lyla would have survived if she was given medical attention in time. Officials said that Duperon purchased diapers for the bedridden Lyla instead of taking her to the hospital.

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According to WXYZ, Duperon reportedly told her boyfriend that a mystery ghost or spirit attacked her daughter in the basement days earlier.

Officials said Duperon allegedly has issues with alcohol.

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The Wayne County Medical Examiner determined the young girl died from blunt force trauma to the head.

“The pictures reflect a child that does not even look like a child," Prosecutor Erin Wilmoth said, WXYZ reported. "The massive amount of swelling to her head and her face, she was completely unrecognizable."

Duperon was arrested and charged with felony murder and first-degree child abuse, officials said.

She remains jailed without bond and is due back in court on March 25.

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