Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Police: Custodial dad badly abused 10-year-old daughter before she died; dad charged with 1st-degree murder (Pawtucket, Rhode Island)

We have seen many cases like this over the years. Fathers who somehow obtained custody from mothers in developing countries, only to systematically torture the child to death in the U.S. or Canada. Sometimes the mothers "consent" because they believe the child will have a better life, but it often doesn't end up that way.

The killer dad is identified as JORGE DEPINA.


Pawtucket police say Aleida DePina, 10, was badly abused before she died

July 08, 2013 11:50 PM

By AMANDA MILKOVITS Journal Staff Writer

PAWTUCKET — The quiet and shy 10-year-old girl had suffered terribly before she died — though no one yet has told Pawtucket police that they noticed her pain.

Aleida DePina had been bitten, beaten, her wrists tied, and her back slashed with cuts, according to court documents released Monday. She appeared to be malnourished.

By the time her father carried her lifeless body into Miriam Hospital on Wednesday afternoon, Aleida had vomited so much that the police investigators were able to collect splashes from the outside wall of her apartment.

She’d died from blunt-force trauma to her small intestine, caused by a weapon that police have not yet identified. Her father, Jorge DePina, 32, is charged with her murder.

DePina wept in District Court on Friday, calling in Creole for his own death, as he was arraigned on charges of murder, first-degree child abuse, and neglect or cruelty to a child. The Cape Verdean native is blamed by the police for the abuse that doctors found on Aleida’s body — fresh bite marks on her back and arms, bruises covering her hips, thighs, buttocks, and stomach, the ligature marks left on her wrists.

The description of her injuries was laid out in an affidavit obtained by The Providence Journal Monday that accompanied a search warrant on the first-floor apartment at 48 Knowles St., where DePina and his daughter lived. In the affidavit, Detectives Donti Rosciti and Dave Silva said they believe Aleida’s injuries were “consistent with assault and severe physical abuse, likely over an extended period of time.”

Maj. Arthur Martins said Monday that the investigation is complex, and detectives are seeking more witnesses to tell them about Aleida’s life. The detectives want to talk with teachers and students at Elizabeth Baldwin Elementary School, where Aleida had been in the fourth grade. The state Department of Children Youth and Families hadn’t reported any issues to the police, Martins said.

“We don’t have any witnesses. We want someone to come forward,” Martins said.

According to the search warrant, the police seized more than two dozen items, such as a Hello Kitty bathrobe, bedding from her room, a jump rope, a curling iron and a rope. In the tub, the police found bed sheets, girl’s Disney underwear, a pair of men’s briefs, a man’s shirt, a facecloth, brushes and a cup. They seized medication including antacid, amoxicillin, and a bottle of laxatives. DePina’s minivan, which he used to drive his daughter to the hospital, was also seized.

Aleida lived with her father for about two years in the apartment, where he ran a hair-cutting business during the day and had crowds of people over at night, according to some residents in the neighborhood. He was also known for grilling chicken outside and selling it for delivery.

Aleida was rarely seen outside, out of her father’s sight. She was known as a quiet girl who didn’t attract attention.

Now, her death has others talking about what they saw, and what they missed.

At her birthday party that her father held several weekends ago in their parking lot, where people gathered into the wee hours, Aleida didn’t play, remembered another neighbor.

Aleida’s hair was braided and she wore a pink dress, but she just sat there as other children played, said 15-year-old Sandra Baffour. “Usually a 10-year-old girl like her wants to be happy,” Baffour said. “But she just looked really sad.”

At Star Wine Co., a nearby liquor store where Aleida sometimes bought bags of chips, co-owner Victor Oliveira said the girl’s death was being discussed in the neighborhood, especially among other Cape Verdean residents. He, too, had thought Aleida seemed sad, but he didn’t know why.

“I was surprised,” Oliveira said, of hearing about her death and DePina’s arrest. “If I’d noticed anything like that, if he was beating up his daughter, I would have reported that.”

Red and white wax melted into the sidewalk from the candles burning outside the chain-link fence surrounding the house at 48 Knowles St. A photo of the girl smiling was placed with a message written by someone on graph paper: “I wish your life in heaven be better than the one you had on earth. We will miss you.”

Lucy Silva pulled up with her 10-year-old son, Markus, to see the memorial. He had been in school with Aleida and learned of her death from the news media. Silva knew he’d have questions.

So did she. She thought of Aleida’s mother, who police say is living in Cape Verde. “I’m a mom that’s heartbroken for her mom, who was not here to protect her,” Silva said.

Pawtucket police ask anyone with information about Aleida DePina to call (401) 727-9100, Detective Donti Rosciti ext. 737 or Detective Dave Silva ext. 760.