CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland police say they are investigating the death of a 5-year-old girl.
Ta Naejah McCloud was transported from a home in the 10700 block of Bryant Avenue in Cleveland to University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital this past Friday. Police say the young girl had massive trauma to her head.
She was pronounced dead by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner two days later.
At an arraignment hearing Wednesday, the girl's mother, Tequila Crump, was charged in connection to her death. Crump is accused of fatally beating the 5-year-old.
Police are waiting for autopsy results to confirm the girl's cause of death, but prosecutors say the girl had signs of ongoing sexual and physical abuse.
Crump pleaded not guilty at her arraignment. Her bond was set at $1 million.
A second woman, Ursula Owens, was also charged in connection to the girl's death. Owens' bond was also set at $1 million.
Sierra Giles said her heart sank after learning that the girl had died. Giles said she and Owens dated several years ago. Giles adopted Owens' 15-year-old son Rayvon after the relationship ended. She said she wanted to take him away from what she called an abusive environment. Giles said a court order still requires Rayvon to see his mother, and during a visit last Friday, Rayvon said he saw his mother and her girlfriend beating the girl.
"I saw them whooping her like real hard. She was crying like real loud and it was something stupid, all because they thought she had plugged the fan up in the socket. I wanted them to call 911 but they just wouldn't listen to me," said Rayvon.
Giles said she had suspicions of abuse because of the victim's behavior and appearance.
"I was scared for her. A 5-year-old girl is dead and she's never coming back," said Giles.
At this time, both Owens and Crump are charged with felonious assault, but additional charges will be amended as the investigation continues.