A Florida teen smothered her 3-year-old sister with a pillow to “quiet her down” as their mother took a work call at a hotel, police said.
The teen, identified by authorities as 16-year-old Charlise Bell, has been charged with manslaughter in Friday’s death at the MainStay Suites hotel in Altamonte Springs.
Cops responded to the extended stay hotel for a report of an unresponsive child. The toddler was rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said in a statement Monday.
“The investigation is ongoing,” cops said. “However, the preliminary investigation revealed that the sibling … had placed a pillow over her sister to quiet her down. When she returned to the room, her sister was unresponsive.”
The girls’ mother told cops she had been working on her laptop in the hotel’s bedroom as her daughters stayed in the living quarters, according to an arrest report obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.
The 3-year-old girl was “being loud,” prompting the mother to ask Charlise to “keep her quiet since she is on the phone for work,” according to the report.
The mother told cops it got quiet for about 10 minutes until her teen daughter abruptly walked into the bedroom while carrying her unresponsive sister, the report continued.
The mom then called 911 while trying to give the toddler CPR, the Sentinel reported.
“She’s unresponsive,” she frantically told dispatchers. “Her lips are turning blue.”
A dispatcher then asked if the family had a defibrillator, prompting someone who may have been the 16-year-old to respond, according to the Sentinel.
“We do not have anything,” the unidentified person replied. “We’re not home. We do not have a home.”
The teen told investigators after she was detained that she was responsible for caring for her sister during weekdays as their mother worked from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to the police report.
The teen, who is not being charged as an adult, is being held at the Seminole County Juvenile Detention Center, WFTV reported. It’s unclear if she’s hired an attorney who could speak on her behalf.