Little girl, 4, was 'sexually assaulted and beaten until her spleen ruptured' after mom 'left her with lover to party'
A FOUR-year-old girl was "sexually assaulted and beaten until her spleen ruptured" after her mom allegedly left her with a lover to attend a party.
The little girl, Jo’nyri Hawkins, succumbed to injuries earlier this month – after her mom's boyfriend, 21-year-old Anfernee Devante Steele, allegedly attacked her.
Newly released court documents, obtained by The Times-Picayune and the New Orleans Advocate, revealed Hawkins' fatal injuries.
Hawkins, who was found dead in a hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana – died from blunt trauma to her abdomen, according to autopsy results.
She suffered "massive internal bleeding."
As per the court docs, police said Hawkins had signs of extreme physical abuse.
Hawkins had a healed rib fracture, bruising, human bite marks, scars, and “vaginal trauma consistent with having an object being inserted … similar to a finger,” the docs revealed.
Her spleen and liver were also found to be ruptured – a likely sign of a forceful punch or kick, according to a forensic pathologist.
Steele is wanted in connection with a homicide on Oct. 3, according to a New Orleans Police Department press release on October 15.
Authorities are searching for Steele as he has been accused of beating his girlfriend's daughter to death in a hotel.
Steele was “positively identified as the perpetrator” of the incident on the 500 block of Canal Street, the release states.
He faces one count of second-degree murder and one count of second-degree cruelty to juveniles.
Hawkins was with Steele at the hotel for several hours while her mother was away, a law enforcement source told The Times-Picayune.
When the mother returned, she found her daughter limp and unresponsive and called 911.
First responders pronounced Hawkins dead at the scene.
According to the Orleans Parish Coroner's Office, Hawkins' death was ruled a homicide, the source said.
Steele claimed that Hawkins fell, but local authorities said Hawkins had “severe bodily injuries” from physical abuse.
Hawkins was buried on Friday at Beautiful Zion Baptist Church in Houma, where she is from, according to an obituary.
She is survived by her parents, two siblings, and her grandparents.
Police obtained an arrest warrant for Steele on Tuesday.
A second-degree murder conviction means life in prison.
Anyone with information on Steele’s whereabouts and the crime is urged to contact the homicide detective Barrett Morton at 504-658-5300 or leave an anonymous tip with Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans at 504-822-1111 or 877-903-STOP.
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