NEW YORK - (AP) - The mother of a child found dead in her home along with evidence the child had been bound - was arrested Friday on charges of assault and endangering the welfare of a child, police said.
Carlotta Brett Pierce was charged hours after the city medical examiner's office said further tests were needed to determine the cause of death of 4-year-old Marchella.
Police said they made the arrest based on the condition of Marchella's body: She appeared severely underweight, and marks on her ankles led investigators to believe she had been tied to her small bed in the corner of the mother's room.
Four lengths of rope were found on the bed, and an oxygen mask was in a corner.
The mother also was charged with possession of crack cocaine and marijuana. Police said more charges were possible pending the outcome of the medical examiner tests.
The girl, born with undersized lungs, had serious troublebreathing and had a breathing tube placed in her throat. She was found Thursday morning on her mother's bed.
Police say Pierce called 911 around 7:30 a.m. after checking on her daughter and finding her cold and unconscious. She tried to resuscitate Marchella, but was not successful.
Two boys at the Brooklyn apartment, ages 5 and 9 months, appeared healthy.
The other children were placed in foster care.
4-year-old found dead in her home