PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – The mother of a 3-year-old girl found dead in a Swissvale ravine last month has been arrested on charges she asphyxiated her.
Police say the mother was upset she had to help the toddler clean herself after using the toilet.
Allegheny County police say 26-year-old Adriene Williams, of Wilkinsburg, was arrested Tuesday on charges of criminal homicide, endangering the welfare of a child, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.
The body of her toddler daughter, 3-year-old Adrionna Williams, was found in a shallow ravine in a wooded area off of Chalmers Street in Swissvale, less than two and a half miles from her Wilkinsburg home. She was found about 40 minutes after her family reported her missing June 14.
The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office says Adrionna died from asphyxiation and has ruled the manner of death as a homicide.
Adriene Williams was arrested around 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
Detectives say they found mud on the mother’s Toyota. They say they also found a note Adriene allegedly wrote last month, complaining about the stress of being a single parent.
She wrote, “I hate doing this on my own, I’ve been struggling hard.”
Authorities also found some vinyl-coated, colorful paper clips at the scene where the girl’s body was found, and, according to the court paperwork, similar paper clips where found when police later searched Williams’ car.
Her cell phone indicated she was in the Swissvale neighborhood the night the girl was reported missing. A car that was similar to Williams’ vehicle was seen on surveillance video from homes and businesses in the neighborhood where the ravine is located the night the girl was found.
Williams had nothing to say as police escorted her to municipal court Tuesday afternoon for her arraignment.
After Adrionna’s body was found, Williams pleaded on Facebook for justice for her daughter and any leads on a suspect.
Meanwhile, Ericka Robinson, of Greensburg, late Tuesday visited the spot where the girl’s body was found.
Robinson told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti, “It’s sad to know the child lost her life, on top of that, she lost it at the hands of someone who was supposed to protect her.”
Robinson added she had mixed feelings, saying, “It’s sad but joyful at the same time, (knowing) now that someone has been apprehended, and isn’t out there running free.”
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