Roommates, our hearts are broken over this story. Three-year-old Bella Edwards was found dead in a Queens apartment building on Monday, and the mother’s boyfriend has been charged with beating her to death.
According to the New York Times, 32-year-old Marc Jenkins was arrested for second-degree murder and is expected to be arraigned on Wednesday.
A medical examiner determined Bella was a victim of child abuse. Autopsy results showed her exact cause of death was the result of blunt force trauma to her abdomen. Police are investigating if Bella was also a victim of sexual abuse. The NYT reports that two law enforcement officials said the “girl had injuries on her lower body that were consistent with physical and sexual abuse.”
Investigators believe Bella’s mother, Shamikaa Gonzalez, was at work all day and Jenkins was in charge of looking after the young girl and her 3-month-old brother. “Bella, I’m so sorry I wasn’t there to protect you,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “This feels like a bad dream I can’t wake up from.”
“This is a terribly disturbing case,” Queens district attorney Richard A. Brown said in a statement. “The victim here is an innocent little girl, whose body revealed traumatic abuse injuries.”
If convicted, Marc Jenkins is looking at up to 25 years in prison. He also spent five years in state prison for attempted murder.
TSR STAFF: Myeisha E.! @myeisha.essex on IG