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Foster Mom Charged With Murder Of ‘Defenseless Child’ Whose Body Was Allegedly Covered in Burns And Bite Marks
Samilya Brown said 4-year-old Zya Singleton fell from a second story bedroom window while she was playing with a cat, but the medical examiner found she had sustained a series of separate injuries.
A Philadelphia foster mother, who’s accused of starving her 4-year-old daughter and inflicting a litany of physical abuse on the child, has been charged in the girl’s death, authorities said.
Samilya Brown, 38, is accused of murdering her foster daughter Zya Singleton, who died on Nov. 3, after Brown claimed the girl plunged from a bedroom window in a Philadelphia home.
Around 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 31, police said they had received a call of a “person screaming” at a residence in North Philadelphia. Brown, who made contact with police upon arrival, told them Singleton had fallen from a second story window where she had been playing with a cat.
Following the girl’s death, however, a medical examiner’s report disputed Brown’s account — and revealed shocking findings to authorities. The girl’s body had been covered with bite marks, puncture wounds, and cigarette burns, officials said. The 4-year-old also showed signs of malnourishment. Some of the child’s injuries, police said, had been treated with homemade stitches, which later became infected.
“This is a horrific, heartbreaking case of abuse, neglect, and murder of an innocent, defenseless child,” District Attorney Lawrence Krasner said in a statement. “All children deserve care, protection, and love — no matter the circumstances of how they come into this world."
Police charged Brown with aggravated assault, simple assault, endangering the welfare and corruption of minors, tampering with evidence, and other offenses.
“I urge all members of the public to learn how to spot signs of child abuse, and encourage you to report suspected cases of abuse to authorities,” Krasner said.
Krasner’s office didn’t respond to Oxygen.com’s request for comment.
No court information was available for Brown’s case as of Wednesday.
The girl’s biological mother told local media this week that she had placed her daughter in Brown’s care roughly two years ago and that she had known the woman all her life. The woman said the last time she saw her daughter was in September 2017.
"I asked her to keep Zya until I could move, which she agreed to," Jasmine Singleton, 29, told KYW.
She was appalled when she learned of her 4-year-old’s injuries after she was hospitalized earlier this month.
"My baby's face was destroyed with burns on her body and a head that was taped up,” she said. “I walked in that room and walked out.”
Singleton supposedly also met with Brown at the hospital.
"This girl tried to hug me and tell me that my daughter went out a window," she explained. "I hope she burn[s] in this jail cell. That's it.”