MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. - A Mount Vernon mother has been arraigned on murder charges following the “suspicious” death of her 15-month-old daughter earlier this year.
On Thursday, acting Westchester County District Attorney James McCarty announced that Deasia Bartee , 26, has been arraigned on seven-count indictment that includes a second-degree murder charge following the death of her daughter, Samia Yusef.
Shortly after 5:30 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 5, police responded to a Washington Street apartment on a 911 call, where they found the toddler unresponsive, on her back with her arms rigid and pointed toward the ceiling. Her left eye was apparently swollen shut and she was cold to the touch.
First responders performed life-saving measures, but the child was declared dead less than a half hour later upon arrival at the Mount Vernon Hospital.
The Emergency Room doctor that examined Yusef told police that the child was “unusually cold and stated his belief the child had been dead for some time and may have been refrigerated, as she was in an advanced state of decomposition.”
According to police, the investigation indicated that the toddler sustained significant trauma to the face and suffered from internal bleeding.
An autopsy conducted by the Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma of the body with a fracture dislocation of the lumbar spine and internal bleeding. The victim was reportedly significantly underweight and malnourished, weighing just 14 pounds at the time of her death.
Bartee has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, three counts of manslaughter, and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. She is due back in court on Tuesday, Oct. 25, where she will face life in prison.