Conroe, TX – A child with special needs was tortured and drugged by her caregivers prior to her 2016 death, investigators said.
Police arrested three people on Tuesday, after an investigation that included surveillance footage from inside the unnamed 14-year-old girl’s home, The Courier reported.
Tommieretta Gunner, 43, and Marreissa Jones, 28, were the girl’s caretakers. They were both charged with first-degree felony injury to a child.
Anthony Maurice Jackson, 42, the child’s father, was charged with third-degree felony injury to a child.
The investigation began on Oct. 15, 2016, when Jones called 911 to report the child had a faint heartbeat and wasn’t breathing. The girl was pronounced dead at a local hospital approximately one hour later.
An autopsy found that the child died from toxic effects of blood pressure medication, which the girl was not prescribed.
Her death was ruled a homicide.
Surveillance videos from inside the victim’s residence showed that in the months preceding her death, the child was able to perform normal daily tasks, but became lethargic after Gunner, Jones and Jackson gave her medication, investigators said.
After she took the medication, the girl struggled to walk, and had difficulty staying awake.
On the day the child died, the video showed that Gunner brought a prescription bag into the home just after 12 p.m., authorities said.
Just minutes later, the girl began showing signs of “intoxication,” which authorities said led them to believe the child was given the blood pressure medication shortly after Gunner’s arrival.
Gunner left the home at approximately 12:45 p.m., while Jones stayed with the victim.
In the video, the girl stumbled as she moved around the house, often unable to stand on her own, investigators said. She was unable to stay awake, and collapsed on a couch hours after she took the medication.
Police said that Jones went to where the child was lying and pulled on her arm, but the girl wouldn’t move.
Jones then left her and went to another room to make food.
Jones eventually returned to the child, and later told investigators that the girl’s breathing was labored and that her pulse was faint, police said.
Jones then contacted Jackson, who told her not to call 911 for his daughter, and to wait for him to return home.
Jones hung up with Jackson, discovered the child was no longer breathing, and called 911, police said.
Authorities said Gunner and Jackson gave the girl two blood pressure medications over a three-week period prior to her death.
Jackson also allegedly used a stun gun on his daughter seven times and threatened her on 15 occasions in the months before she died, police said.
If convicted, Gunner and Jones face potential life sentences. They are each being held on $150,000 bond.
Jackson faces up to 20 years in prison, and is being held without bond.