Police in El Paso say a 2-year-old girl was found unresponsive in her Texas home on Saturday afternoon. Reuters reports the child’s father and a cousin inside the home called 911 after she became limp.
When first responders arrived, according to an El Paso Police press release, the child was transported to the local children’s hospital where she died a short time later.
Authorities were called out to the hospital to investigate Peyton Graham’s death and that’s when they learned she did not die of natural causes, but it appeared to investigators she was a victim of a vicious beating.
Upon further investigation, authorities learned Peyton’s father, 20-year-old Dartarious Graham, became enraged when he found his daughter had soiled her diaper. That’s when Graham allegedly beat her with a belt. During the beating, which took place in the child’s room according to authorities, 19-year-old Robert Franklin, who is a cousin, walked away. Police say Franklin did nothing to protect the child.
The press release said:
“Franklin reported hearing the beating continue and that Dartarious Graham eventually came out of the room with the child. Franklin and Dartarious Graham then observed the child go limp and called for medical assistance.”
Not only is Graham accused of beating his daughter to death, but it was surprising to learn at the time of his arrest Graham was serving in the U.S. Army as a specialist stationed at Fort Bliss.
As for Peyton’s mother, although she was not home at the time, authorities arrested her as well. Police say they learned 23-year-old Elizabeth Graham did nothing to protect her child. Police said the child had been a victim of abuse in the past and her mother did not offer protection or report the abuse to authorities. A press release said that information was corroborated by older wounds observed on the child’s body.
Elizabeth Graham and Robert Franklin (pictured above) are facing a charge of injury to a child by omission. Both have smaller bond’s set. As for Dartarious Graham, according to the press release, he is facing a charge of capital murder and has a bond set at $250,000.
Read more: Reuters