Mother arrested in death of 15-month-old Mount Vernon girl

MOUNT VERNON, New York (WABC) -- Police in Westchester County have arrested the mother of a 15-month-old girl who was found dead inside a home early Friday.

Samia Yusef was in a bedroom in a Mount Vernon apartment on Washington Street around 5:30 a.m. Police responding to a 911 call tried to perform life-saving measures, but she was declared dead at 6 a.m. Friday.

The child's mother, Dasia Bartee, 26, was arrested and will be arraigned Monday. She is expected to be charged in connection with the toddler's death, according to a news release from the mayor's office. The charges were not specified.

The Mount Vernon Police Department announced the arrest Saturday.

The release said the toddler had been dead for at least several hours, but the official cause of death is undetermined. The temperature of the body was "extremely cold." Samia had significant trauma to her face and internal bleeding, the release said.

"This story of what happened is a sad situation," Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas said Friday. "But it is an ongoing investigation."

Police said the child didn't have a medical condition or illness of which they were aware.

The Mount Vernon Police Department is investigating and said there is a possibility that the child's body may have been placed in a freezer at some point.

Police said were five adults, including the girl's mother, inside the apartment at the time Samia was found, along with two girls ages 6 and 9. Those children were unharmed.

People who know the mother refused to believe that she could be guilty. "We're mourning and this is a tragic loss for us, we're hearing the news that everyone else is hearing the news, but like I said my sister was a wonderful mother," said the suspect's sister.

Anyone with information about this death is asked to call the Mount Vernon Police Department at 914-665-2500. null
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