The mother of the three-year-old girl, and the mother's boyfriend were officially charged with the child's murder yesterday by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.
Police say the child's mother, 26-year-old Susan Witbracht, and her boyfriend Dauntorian Sanders, 23, both of Chandler, beat the toddler with a belt until she was covered in bruises and had stopped breathing.
Autopsy results, released by the County Attorney's Office, show that the child died from blunt force trauma.
"Crimes against children, as alleged in this case, cannot be tolerated and must draw a
strong response from prosecutors. As the father of four children, I find all crimes against children deeply disturbing and seek to prosecute them aggressively," says County Attorney Andrew Thomas.
The couple was indicted on one count each of first degree murder, and four counts of child abuse, and face a possible death sentence.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.