LOS ANGELES (CBS LOCAL) – A nine-year-old Florida girl has died after an older cousin allegedly sat on the child as a form of punishment. The cousin, who is 64 and weighs 325 pounds, was arrested by police and faces homicide charges.
According to reports, Dericka Lindsay stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest on Oct. 14 after the incident with her cousin. 64-year-old Veronica Green Posey reportedly told police that the girl was “out of control” and was being disciplined. The punishment allegedly did not stop until Dericka said she couldn’t breathe and lost consciousness.
“Dericka’s death is appalling and DCF will continue coordinating with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office to hold anyone responsible for her death accountable,” Mike Carroll of the Florida Department of Children and Families said in the statement.
Two other adults in the house at the time of Lindsay’s death have also been arrested. 69-year-old Grace Joan Smith and 62-year-old James Smith have been charged with child neglect and cruelty toward a child. Posey was released from jail on Oct. 16 on $125,000 bail. The fatal tragedy is not the first time the Pensacola family has reportedly been investigated by Florida authorities.
Mr. Carroll added that his agency is beginning a review of every contact Lindsay’s family had with Florida’s child welfare service to determine if the violent tragedy could have been avoided. Posey is due back in court for the homicide on Nov. 3.