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Murder charges expected to be filed in death of 3-year-old girl

HomicideJose Cruz

Murder charges are expected to be filed soon against a man accused of throwing his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter against a TV. The girl later died from her injuries.
 
The investigation started Tuesday, when detectives were called to the 3700 block of Long Wharf Drive. When they arrived, they said 20-year-old Jose Cruz was hysterical, his shirt soaking wet. Detectives found 3-year-old Carmen in a bedroom, covered in bruises and wearing only a t-shirt.

"I just heard a loud thump like something hit the wall," said Debbie Whitney, whose daughter lives in the neighborhood.
 
When detectives went inside the bedroom, they noticed feces on the floor. They said Cruz told them that the girl had done that while he was performing CPR. 

When detectives spoke with Cruz later, they said he admitted that he became angry when Carmen soiled herself. According to investigators, the punishment included beating her with a leather belt, hitting her repeatedly with her fists, shaking her head, pulling her hair and throwing her against the TV.

Carmen was taken to Riley at IU Health, where she died from her injuries.
 
"Oh my gosh. I am so sorry. I feel so bad," said Katrina Parksey, who told Fox59 she lived with Cruz, the girl and her mother back in July. She said they were staying at a home in the 6000 block of East 25th Street. Her stay lasted less than two months.
 
"Every time I would fall asleep, the next day I would wake up and (Carmen) would have different marks all over her body, but I would never see someone abuse that little girl," Parksey said.

When Katrina's sister Chasity visited one day, she noticed something was wrong and asked Cruz about it. 

"I was bawling and he said a ghost had done it," Chasity Parksey said. She told Fox59 she remembered seeing things wrong with the little girl, including bite marks, missing hair and bruises.
 
Chastity Parker said she called the police. Child Protective Services was called, too, but no one was arrested after the report was made in July. Katrina Parskey said she wishes she could have done more. 

"I know I could have (done) something, but didn't do nothing 'cause I'm the one that seen that girl first with the bruises," she said. "I wish that I would've stopped it the first time."
 
"I wish I would've taken the little girl myself," Chasity Parksey said.
 
According to IMPD detectives, Cruz was arrested after what happened Tuesday. He was initially charged with attempted murder, but detectives said that charge will change to murder. 
 
DCS told Fox59 that the agency had prior contact with the family. A fatality assessment is underway.

Cruz is due in court Friday.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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