At 10 years old, and a fifth grader at Feltonville Intermediate Charleeni Ferreira’s life was tragically cut short, and the people responsible, say police, are her father Domingo Ferreira (53) and step-mother, Margarita Garabito (43).
Police say that the child was found unresponsive on a floor in her home at around 10:00pm Weds. night. She was rushed to St. Christopher’s Hospital, and later pronounced dead. The Medical Examiner said when Charleeni was examined, he found she suffered numerous injuries to her body, including:
- a 7 inch gash in her head, hideously concealed by a hair weave and filled with gauze tape
- a broken arm
- a broken pelvis
- healed and fresh bruises from possibly years of abuse
The medical examiner also concluded that the cause of death was, pneumonia resulting from blunt-force trauma to her ribs, which collapsed them. There was also evidence of sexual abuse to the child but no charges filed for this on the parents.
Police said that the Department of Human Services had been to Charleeni’s home before, back in 2006 and again in 2007, but due to confidentiality laws couldn’t elaborate on this.
But if the DHS won’t talk, Charleeni’s friends certainly are. Some of them talked specifically to Action News and one revealed that Charleeni “confided in her about the abuse at home, saying that:
Her stepmom would pull her hair, and did so many mean things to her.
About the sexual abuse, another of her young friends, said:
Her stepbrother told Charleeni, You better come upstairs because I need to talk to you, and he raped her up in her bedroom.
Two other people living in the home – Garabito’s 16-year-old and 19-year-old sons – showed no signs of abuse, ( but did they or 1 of them abuse this child?!!)
Neighbors and several classmates held a prayer vigil, bringing candles, stuffed bears and bright balloons in her memory. Her father and stepmother are charged with murder reckless endangerment.
According to the source Philly.com…
“It was unclear how long Charleeni had been abused, but the seven-inch gash on her forehead was so old that skin had begun to grow over the gauze, officials said.
In 2006, a nurse at Charleeni’s previous school, Clara Barton Elementary, was adamant that the girl was being abused, according to sources familiar with the case.
After the nurse’s first report in October of that year, DHS took the child to a pediatrician specializing in child abuse, but the doctor could not substantiate the claim.”
A clueless doctor+friends that knew of abuse and sadly not telling, add in the DHS errors= a recipe for the death of a child. Rest in peace Chareeni.