Arlington police have arrested a man and woman after a toddler died early Saturday from injuries she suffered while being taught a "lesson" with a belt, police said.
Officers were called about 1:30 a.m. to Las Lomas Apartments in the 800 block of Timberlake Drive, off Great Southwest Parkway in East Arlington. They found 2-year-old Aniyah Darnell in grave condition and not breathing. She was rushed to Medical City Arlington and pronounced dead about 2:15 a.m.
Shamonica Page, 34, was booked on a charge of injury to a child, a first-degree felony, and Derick Roberson, 38, faces a third-degree felony count of injury to a child by omission. Both were booked into the Arlington Jail.
Page had been caring Aniyah for her mother since August and had disciplined the girl by hitting her with a belt, a search warrant shows.
Angry that the toddler had been wetting her clothes, she told police that she had repeatedly taught her a "lesson" with the belt.
Page said the girl suffered an injury, but rather than take her to the hospital, she tried "home remedies" to treat what she described as a burn on Aniyah's backside. That didn't stop the beatings, though, and she continued to spank the girl with her hand and the belt, police said.
The Tarrant County medical examiner's office will determine Aniyah's cause of death, but investigators suspected foul play from the outset.
"This is not a death due to natural circumstances," Arlington police spokesman Christopher Cook said in a written statement.
Two other children in the home were placed in the custody of Child Protective Services. Their relationship to Aniyah was unknown.