The girl's mother has now been charged. Investigators said she watched or took part in the abuse of her daughter and delayed getting her help.
Investigators said Julianne Lewis allowed her boyfriend Dimitrios Moscharis to hit her 9-year-old daughter with a curtain rod or a baton and put the child in a closet for 15 hours without food or water, with clothes placed on top of her.
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Medics noticed the alleged abuse after the child was pulled unconscious and clothed from a bathtub this week.
When she said she could not breathe, the mother and her boyfriend allegedly waited at least 45 minutes to call for help.
A police report claims the daughter was deprived of oxygen long enough to cause brain damage, critically injuring her.
Lewis and Moscharis are both in custody and each faces a list of charges.