The mother of a 3-year-old girl who was found dead last week in Crestview, Florida has confessed that her boyfriend allegedly killed the child to punish her for getting out of her car seat.
According to WPLG, Cory Hagwell, 29, has been arrested on murder and aggravated child abuse charges. The child’s mother, Destinee Merrell, is facing charges of her own: aggravated child abuse and child neglect.
According to an Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office news release, the little girl was reported missing by the couple on Friday. They claimed that Adelynn Merrell was last seen playing in the backyard. Destinee later confessed that her boyfriend kicked Adelynn in her head and locked her in a bathroom closet on Thursday. Why? Because she had "gotten out of her car seat."
Adelynn’s body was found in a wooded area later that day, according to the police report. An autopsy has determined she died from a skull fracture to the back of the head caused by blunt-force trauma.
Police believe the mother participated in locking Adelynn in the closet. In addition to that, her 5-year-old son was taken to a hospital to be treated for malnutrition after police discovered that "bones in all regions of his body exposed."
Police said Destinee left Adelynn and another child locked in a room in September. In that incident, the children broke out of a window and were discovered by neighbors.
Hagwell and Merrell are both being held without bond. It is unclear if either of them have a lawyer can speak on their behalf.
[Photo: Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office]