Amber Keyes, 37, of Houston, Texas, was just sentenced to 40 years behind bars for the death of her disabled nine-year-old daughter, Ayahna Comb. The child was reportedly severely handicapped and suffered from cerebral palsy. Her body, which weighed only 14 pounds, was found stuffed in the crisper drawer of a refrigerator two years ago. ABC 13 said Amber Keys pleaded guilty to injury to a child by omission in December 2015. The cause of death was malnutrition and dehydration, and after the child died, Keys claimed she felt overwhelmed, and that’s why she wrapped the corpse in a blanket and secreted it in her refrigerator. According to the Daily Mail, Ayahna’s body was in the fridge for six months.
KPRC-TV said a neighbor made the horrifying discovery in June 2014, after not having seen Ayahna for months. A conflicting report from the Houston Chronicle states that the body was discovered by Keyes’s youngest daughter, in search of a cheese stick.
Despite the condition of the little girl’s body, Keyes’s attorney Joseph Owmby told ABC 13, “The child died over a period of time that includes not taking the child to the doctor as the state alleges.”
The victim’s father, Armand Combs, spoke out to KPRC-TV in 2014 while he fought back tears. He said not only did he talk to his ex-girlfriend the day before the discovery, but also that Keyes was speaking to the girl as if she were alive and with her.
“I just want to know what happened. How did you get in that situation, and how did she die?” Combs added at the time. The station also spoke to family friend Henry Cosey in 2014, who said Ayahna was confined to her bed and unable to move, and was still drinking from a bottle.
KPRC-TV outlined Keyes’s past criminal history including arrests in 1998 and 2000. The report said Keyes has a third daughter who is older than the victim, but she lost custody of her in 2002. The Houston Chronicle also reported that Keyes admitted to collecting social security payment for the child for months after she’d died.
As for the second child living inside the home, it’s unclear who is taking care of that child at this point.
ABC 13 brought us the following report in 2015.
Main photo: Amber Keyes’s mug shot [Houston Police Department]