When their 9-year-old daughter was misbehaving, the Smith couple called over their 64-year-old niece and instructed her to discipline the small girl.
So Veronica Green Posey allegedly hit Dericka Lindsay with both a metal pipe and a ruler. When Dericka tried to escape by running to a nearby chair, Posey followed her. The 325-pound woman allegedly sat on the 9-year-old, the Pensacola News Journal reports.
According to the police report, 10 minutes passed before the child complained of not being able to breathe. However, Posey allegedly did not relieve the small girl of her weight for an additional two minutes.
When she finally did stand, Dericka was unresponsive.
In a panic, Posey performed CPR on the girl while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. However, upon reaching the Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, Florida, Dericka was pronounced dead.
Dericka’s parents, Grace and James Smith, were arrested and charged with child neglect.
This is not the first time the family has butted heads with Florida’s child welfare system.
The secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, Mike Carroll, said in a statement:
Dericka’s death is appalling and DCF will continue coordinating with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office to hold anyone responsible for her death accountable. As the family has a prior interaction with the child welfare system, a thorough quality assurance review will be conducted to review all prior interactions this family has had with the child welfare system.
Posey was released on bail. However, as of Monday, the Smiths were still being held in jail.