A Florida girl died when her 325-pound cousin allegedly sat on her as a form of punishment, according to authorities. Veronica Green Posey, 64, has been charged with homicide and cruelty towards a child, an arrest report revealed.
According to WXIA, paramedics responded to a report of a cardiac arrest at 1.35pm CT (7.35pm BST) on Saturday (14 October) in Pensacola. The nine-year-old Dericka Lindsay was found unresponsive and was taken to Baptist Hospital, where she was declared dead.
Posey told a sheriff's deputy that she sat on Dericka as punishment "for being out of control".
While sitting on her, Posey said the girl told adults that she could not breathe. When Posey stood up, she discovered the girl was unresponsive, called 911 and began CPR.
Two other adults, 62-year-old James Edmund Smith and 69-year-old Grace Joan Smith, were also arrested and charged with child neglect for failing to report the abuse. Grace Joan was additionally charged with cruelty toward a child, WXIA reported.
The Smiths were Dericka's parents and Posey's aunt and uncle, the report stated.
She told the deputy that Posey first struck the girl with a ruler and a metal pipe, before Dericka ran to an armchair, according to WXIA.
The family had previous contact with the state's child welfare system, Mike Carroll, the secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families told the Pensacola News Journal.
"Dericka's death is appalling and DCF will continue coordinating with the Escambia County Sheriff's Office to hold anyone responsible for her death accountable," Carroll said in a statement.
"As the family has a prior interaction with the child welfare system, a thorough quality assurance review will be conducted to review all prior interactions this family has had with the child welfare system."
Posey's bond was set at $125,000 and she was released, Escambia County's jail records reveal. Meanwhile, Grace Smith's and James Smith's bonds were set at $75,000 and $50,000 respectively. They both remain in jail, the Pensacola News Journal reported.