Mom Allegedly Forced Teen Daughter To Help Bury 4-Year-Old Sister In Backyard

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A 31-year-old mother allegedly forced her 13-year-old daughter to help bury her 4-year-old sister's body in the backyard of their Charlotte, North Carolina, home last month, authorities said.

The mother, identified as Malikah Bennett, has been charged with felony child abuse, inflicting physical injury, felony concealing a death and first-degree murder after her young daughter's remains were found by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police at their home on May 21, local news outlet Charlotte Observer reported.

According to a search warrant obtained by the outlet, the 13-year-old teen, who was not named, told police her mom allegedly forced her 4-year-old sister Miegellic "Jelli" Young to stand in a laundry room as punishment for "having a bowel movement in her pants." The child stood for three days without resting or leaving, the warrant said.

The child later fell out the back door and hit her head on the ground when she became too weak, her older sister claimed. Bennett allegedly tried to perform CPR, but her sister had died at this point.

Bennett allegedly did not report her daughter’s death because the child had injuries and she was afraid of getting in trouble. Instead, the mother allegedly placed the child's body in two plastic trash bags and put her in the trunk of an SUV, where the body stayed for five days, the warrant said.

When the smell became unbearable, the mother allegedly went to buy a shovel that she used to dig a hole in the family’s backyard. Bennett allegedly made the teenager pick up her dead sister’s body, place it in the ground and cover it with dirt, the search warrant said.

Police said the child's body had serious physical injuries, including bruises, swelling and black eyes, according to an arrest warrant for Bennett.

Bennett was denied bond at a court hearing in May. Aside from her four charges, the mother is also facing three other pending misdemeanor child abuse charges from February 2020, the Charlotte Observer reported, citing public records.

Bennett’s mother, Tammy Taylor Moffett, was also arrested and charged in connection with the child's death. According to her arrest warrant, the 53-year-old was charged with concealing a death and accessory to murder after the fact.

Investigators discovered also multiple past domestic violence and abuse reports involving Bennett, her family and her children, with some incidents having been reported at their Charlotte residence.


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