KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A 36-year-old woman faces a murder charge after her 2-year-old daughter was found dead in her apartment.
Marie J. Chishahayo has been charged with second-degree murder and four counts of child abuse or neglect, KCTV reports.
Court documents say a man identifying himself as Chishahayo's brother saw the family Feb. 26 and that he didn't see any problems then. On Sunday, a church van tried to pick the family up, but there was no answer.
Chishahayo's brother said his wife went to the apartment Wednesday and saw somebody inside, but nobody answered the door.
On Thursday, he managed to get Chishahayo's 9-year-old son to let him and his two children into the apartment. Chishahayo refused to let her brother go upstairs, saying the children were sleeping.
According to KCTV, the brother eventually found Chishahayo's 3-year-old daughter Elena Elia under a blanket, next to 2-year-old Callia Elia, who was dead,
Elena yelled, "Mommy, you're hurting me, stop it," as the blanket was removed.
The mother, according to court records, told police initially, that she had not hit the children. But she said the 9-year-old child had hit the children to punish them. He also heated a knife to burn one of the children. Chishahayo says she permitted this because God had told him to do it.
She attributed most of the abuse to the son, saying she saw him throw Callia into the wall several times. She later admitted to hitting both children, one of them for not getting out of bed.
KCTV reports that as news of this story spread, stuffed animals, signs and flowers were left at the apartment.
Family friend Sostene Lewi told KCTV that Chishahayo may be suffering from a mental problem, though he doesn't know what it would be.
Chishahayo's other children are in state custody.