A Queens man was charged in the death of a 3-year-old girl who was the victim of abuse, District Attorney Richard Brown said Tuesday.
The little girl, Bella Edwards, was reported unconscious in her Seaside home on Beach 105 Street at about 6 p.m. Monday, according to police and Brown’s office. She had suffered trauma consistent with abuse, Brown said.
Her stepfather, identified as Marc Jenkins, 32, was the only adult home with Bella and her 3-month-old sibling for roughly eight hours on Monday, the district attorney’s office said.
“This is a terribly disturbing case. The victim here is an innocent little girl, whose body revealed traumatic abuse injuries,” Brown said in an emailed statement. “The defendant — who resided with the child’s mother — now faces the possibility of life imprisonment.”
Bella’s mother, Shamika Gonzalez, wrote that the little girl “was loved by everyone and shared so many funny memories” in a Facebook post Tuesday morning.
“Bella, I’m so sorry I wasn’t there to protect you. This feels like a bad dream I can’t wake up from,” Gonzalez wrote.
A vigil will be held in front of Gonzalez’s apartment building at 6 p.m. Wednesday, she announced on Facebook.
“My family and I are going through a tough time right now,” she wrote. “We will do a candle lighting and release balloons for Bella in front of my building … bring pink or red balloons and candles!”
Emergency medical personnel arrived and performed CPR, but were unable to revive the little girl. Bella was later pronounced dead at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, police said.
A preliminary autopsy report showed Bella died of blunt force trauma to her abdomen, with other medical tests pending, according to Brown’s office.
Jenkins was charged on Tuesday with second-degree depraved murder and second-degree depraved assault, according to the district attorney’s office. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison if he’s convicted.
Jenkins has a prior attempted murder conviction from 2004 in which he shot a man in the Bronx after showing up to a fight the man was having with a woman, a police source said. He served five years in prison before being paroled in 2011, according to state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision records.