Girl’s biological mother speaks out after caretaker charged

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The biological mother of the 4-year-old who was brutally abused in Francisville is speaking out after murder charges against her daughter’s caretaker were announced. 

“This is the last time I seen her actually. Sept. 27, 2017,” 29-year-old Jasmine Singleton said as she smiled, looking at old photos of her daughter Zya.

“She was a happy baby,” Singleton added.

Singleton got word on Oct. 31 that her baby girl had been brutally neglected. When she arrived at the hospital, she found Zya with bandages on her head, her face severely disfigured. She says Zya was brain dead by the time she got to her at CHOP, a stark difference from the last time she saw her two years ago.

“To walk in the hospital and see that. I’m not used to that,” she said.

Singleton is still trying to figure out exactly what happened to her daughter.

“My baby’s face was destroyed with burns on her body and a head that was taped up. I walked in that room and walked out,” she said.

Samilya Brown, 38, was charged Tuesday with murder and endangering a child. 

Police originally reported a 4-year-old girl was critically injured after she fell out of a second-floor bedroom window on Oct. 30. Brown told officers Zya fell out the window after playing with a cat. But authorities say that wasn’t the case and Zya’s injuries were consistent with severe physical abuse.

Singleton has known Brown her whole life and trusted her to care for Zya two years ago when DHS intervened in her home.

“I asked her to keep Zya until I could move, which she agreed to,” she explained. 

But Singleton, who kept her four other children, says they had a falling out when Brown refused to return her daughter. 

“You could have given me my child back. I don’t see the purpose of keeping her to beat on her, like she had three broken bones, two broken arms and a broken hand,” Singleton said. 

She says she met with Brown at the hospital.

“This girl tried to hug me and tell me that my daughter went out a window.”

At this point, she wants the truth and justice.

“I hope she burn in this jail cell. That’s it,” she added. 

Singleton says she’ll cremate Zya and is planning to hold a vigil in coming days. 

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Listen to the full conversation with Jasmine Singleton below:

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