PHILADELPHIA. The photos, which showed massive gashes in the 10-year-old’s head going down to the skull and a host of other injuries, were revealed during a preliminary hearing for her stepmother, Margarita Garabito.
“She has to be an angel because her life on earth was pure hell,” Judge Patrick Dugan said as he ordered Garabito held for trial on murder charges. “Basically, a lot of people failed this kid — family, doctors, any agencies that were involved.”
Ferreira was rushed to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children on Oct. 21 after Garabito reported that she had collapsed in the bathroom. She died from fluid in her lungs as a result of broken ribs. Authorities said she also suffered a broken hip, broken fingers and ripped tissue near her private parts.
Prosecutors claim Garabito confessed to beating the girl with a metal broom handle on numerous occasions, but that she did “nothing to kill her.”
The defense denied that Garabito, who speaks almost no English, made the statement and argues that the father was responsible for the physical and sexual abuse. Charlenni’s father, Domingo Ferreira, hanged himself in prison.