OAKMONT, Pa. (KDKA) – Three adults are facing multiple charges — including homicide and aggravated indecent assault of a child — in the death of a 3-year-old girl who police say was found “badly bruised and malnourished.”
Earlier this month, Allegheny County 911 was notified of an unresponsive child in the 500 block of 10th Street in Oakmont.
First responders found Bella Rae Seachrist not breathing and used life-saving measures, according to police. They say she appeared “badly bruised and malnourished.”
She was found in a bathtub on the second floor, according to the criminal complaint.
Seachrist was taken to Children’s Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Detectives determined the child suffered from prolonged physical and mental abuse.
“I have no words for it, to be honest. There’s no words for it, my heart just breaks for that entire family,” said family friend Angelina McDade
Friends and extended family members of Seachrist met in a park on Wednesday. They say Bella used to come and play at the park.
On Wednesday, police announced the child’s father, 29-year-old Jose Eduardo Salazar-Ortiz Sr.; the child’s step-mother, 27-year-old Laura Michelle Ramriez; and Ramriez’s sister, 20-year-old Alexis Herrera, are responsible for the child’s death.
They are facing multiple charges, including criminal homicide, criminal conspiracy and aggravated indecent assault of a child. Herrera and Ramriez also face unlawful restraint and false imprisonment charges.
The father and stepmother are behind bars, while a warrant is out for Alexis Herrera’s arrest. She’s described as a Hispanic female who stands at 5-foot-6 and weighs 220 pounds.
A friend of the baby’s mother says Seachrist was being raised by her father when her mom was going through tough times.
“She thought she couldn’t provide the life that Bella deserved so she gave Jose the baby,” said Arika Simmers. “And Jose was supposed to take care of her and he didn’t.”
Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call county police at 1-833-ALL-TIPS.