Mother charged in 4-year-old daughter's death after beating her over spilled lotion

NEW YORK -- A New York mother faces second-degree murder charges after police said she struck her 4-year-old daughter at a homeless shelter because she spilled lotion, according to WPIX.

Linayjah Meraldo, 4, was pronounced dead at the Briarwood Family Residence on Thursday.

The girl’s mother, Latoya Curry, 35, has been charged with second-degree murder after the Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the child’s death a homicide.

According to police, Curry became angry on Wednesday when she found the girl squirting hand lotion on the kitchen floor at the homeless shelter. Curry struck the child in her stomach and face so hard that it dislodged a tooth.

Police said the child cried and complained of pain in her abdomen, but she eventually fell asleep.

The child woke up the next morning with a fever and stomach pains. During a nap between 10 a.m. and 11:45 a.m., Curry found the child unresponsive.

“This is a very disturbing case. The defendant allegedly became angry when the girl spilled lotion and struck her in the face and stomach,” District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a press release. “The woman then allegedly threw the child against a wall and struck her again. The defendant is now facing serious charges that could put her behind bars for the rest of her life.”

Curry lived in the homeless shelter with her five children, police told WPIX.

The Medical Examiner’s Office determined that she died of blunt force trauma to her torso.

Curry is awaiting arraignment.