A little girl in Florida has died after her 325-pound cousin sat on her as punishment, even as the child complained she couldn’t breathe.
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said 9-year-old Dericka Lindsay was pronounced dead on Saturday afternoon after officers received a cardiac arrest call at a Pensacola home.
When police responded, they found Dericka unresponsive, the Pensacola News Journal reports.
She was rushed to Baptist Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The little girl’s cousin, 64-year-old Veronica Green Posey, told police she had sat on Dericka “for being out of control.”
According to the arrest report, the child said she could not breathe and after standing up Posey noticed Dericka was unresponsive. Posey said she called 911 and then started CPR. She later told deputies she weighed 325 pounds.
Posey was arrested and charged with homicide and cruelty toward a child.
Police also arrested 69-year-old Grace Joan Smith and 62-year-old James Edmund Smith, Dericka’s parents. They were charged with child neglect for failing to report the abuse.
Dericka’s mother told police she called Posey, her niece, over to her house Saturday afternoon to help discipline the girl.
She said Posey allegedly struck Dericka with a metal pipe and a ruler before sitting on the child.
Dericka’s father said Posey was sitting on his daughter for about 10 minutes before she started complaining of breathing problems.
He said Posey remained sitting on the child for another two minutes before she got up.
The Florida Department of Children and Families called the death “appalling” and told Pensacola News Journal the family had a prior incident in the past.
Posey was taken to Escambia County Jail on a $125,000 bond. Jail records show she was released on Monday.
Grace’s bond was set for $75,000 and she was also released on Monday. James remains in jail on a $50,000 bond.