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Two women charged in beating death of Philadelphia toddler

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A 2-year-old Philadelphia girl was fatally beaten by her godmother, who, along with another woman who lived in the house, was arrested in connection to the tot’s “horrific” death authorities said this week.

Police found Yatzirys Rodriguez unresponsive and badly bruised inside the home in the Tacony neighborhood just after 2 p.m. Thursday, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported

She was taken to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, where she was pronounced dead about 50 minutes later. 

The child’s 32-year-old godmother, Yaritza Cirilo-Fuentes, 32, and Helen Smith, 42, a friend who reportedly lived in the home, were charged Saturday with murder, conspiracy, child endangerment, and related crimes, the outlet report.

Yatzirys died of blunt-force trauma — and bruises and healed wounds on her body indicated she was the victim of constant abuse described as “torture,” said Chesley Lightsey, who leads the Homicide Unit in the District Attorney’s Office. 

Yaritza Cirilo-Fuentes and Helen Smith are facing murder charges after the beating death of a 2-year-old Yatzirys Rodriguez.
Yaritza Cirilo-Fuentes and Helen Smith are facing murder charges after the beating death of a 2-year-old Yatzirys Rodriguez.
CBS Philly

“I can’t imagine there would ever be a motive that could be understood or dissected from an adult person who would torture a 2-year-old,” Lightsey said, according to the report. 

Officials described the beating as “horrific” and “long-term,” according to KYW-TV.

Police investigate at Marsden Street in Philadelphia's Tacony neighborhood.
Police investigate at Marsden Street in Philadelphia’s Tacony neighborhood.
CBS Philly

Yatzirys’ mother didn’t have custody of her, and left her in her godmother’s care, thinking she would be safe, according to the report. 

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