PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Police say a 4-year-old girl suffered horrific abuse and was ultimately killed at the hands of her foster mother. Zya Singleton’s biological mother is opening up about what her little girl endured and who she entrusted her daughter to.
Jasmine Singleton says she gave custody of her daughter to a family friend because she didn’t have the means to take care of her. She says she never realized that so-called friend would be responsible for Zya’s murder.
“I love my daughter and I wish I didn’t get her back like this,” Singleton said.
Singleton says she never imagined the condition her daughter would be in when she was told the toddler was at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“I’m going to at least be able to see my baby smile. I’m at least be able to do something,” Singleton said.
Rather, Zya was fatally injured and died on Nov. 3 from a blood infection.
Investigators say her guardian, 38-year-old Samilya Brown, beat and abused her for years.
“You can’t prepare no mom for what I walked in that room and saw. My baby’s face was destroyed, all she had was eyes and a head that was taped up with burns on her body. I walked into the room and walked out,” Singleton said.
“This is potentially one of the worst cases of child abuse that anyone has ever seen,” Assistant District Attorney Chesley Lightsey said.
Lightsey says the case came to her desk on Oct. 30. That’s when Brown called 911 saying Zya had fallen out of a second-story window on the 1700 block of Folsom Street in Francisville.
“Falling from a second-floor window simply did not match up with the injuries on Zya’s body,” Lightsey said.
And over the course of the investigation, detectives learned Zya likely had been kept indoors by Brown and was burned, beaten and abused for most of her young life.
“There are scars on her body that have appeared to been sutured. They healed as if they were stitched, but Zya hasn’t been in the hospital since April of 2016,” Lightsey said.
“I hope she burns in this jail cell,” Singleton said of Brown.
Brown has been charged with murder and endangering the welfare of a child.
Four other children were in the home. They were not injured and have been removed by Child Protective Services.