Murder charges in death of abused Phila. girl

FELTONVILLE - October 22, 2009 Those charges were announced as police investigate the death of Charlenny Ferreira of the 4700 block of C Street.

On Thursday, police said the girl's stepmother, Margarita Garabito, 43, and the girl's father, Domingo Ferreira, 53, would be charged.

The girl died on Wednesday.

The medical examiner found a 7 inch cut on her head that was filled with gauze and was covered up by a hair weave. Authorities say the girl also had a broken arm and pelvis.

The M.E. also told police it was the worst case of abuse he had ever seen.

Investigators say the girl died from pneumonia and other infections after blunt-force trauma to her ribs caused a collapsed lung.

A police source says the Department of Human Services had been to the Farreira home before in 2006 and 2007. In a statement released Thursday afternoon, DHS commissioner Anne Marie Ambrose said:

"I am deeply saddened by the tragic death of 10 year old Charlenny Ferreira. Unfortunately state confidentiality laws prohibit us from disclosing any case related information to the public. However as the facts of this case become known to DHS, we will have lots of work to do in looking at the recent events that could have led to or have prevented this tragedy. DHS is fully cooperating with police and the district attorney's office as they investigate this case."

The family told police Charlenny woke up on Wednesday and told her stepmom she felt sick, and that she hit her head the night before.

Then, at around 10:30 a.m., the stepmom said she found the girl unresponsive on the bathroom floor.

Medics rushed the girl to St. Christopher's Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

After an autopsy, police say the girl had been abused for years.

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