Tragic last words of girl found ‘covered in bite marks’ as mum arrested

A court was told how a fatally injured nine-year-old girl cried “mommy help me” after her mother had savagely beaten her and dropped a bed on top of her.

Shemene Cato, 48, battered her daughter Shalom Guifarro and her 13-year-old sister Wisdom for two hours on Sunday, Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney David Ingle told the court.

Prosecutors allege that Cato had beaten both girls with a broomstick and an electrical cable over a missing iPad, and Shalom ran from her hide under the bed.

Cato then lifted the bed, the prosecution case claims, and dropping it on Shalom’s head.

As Shalom died from internal bleeding, the prosecution stated, Cato ignored her daughter’s cries for help.

Help came only after Wisdom managed to get away from her mother and dial the 911 emergency number.

Shalom was found dead with bite marks on her back and serious head injuries. Emergency service workers pronounced the girl dead at the scene.

“As detailed in the complaint, a doctor at the medical examiner’s office determined that Shalom suffered multiple blunt force impact injures about the head and body, resulting in internal bleeding which ultimately caused the death of Shalom,” Ingle explained.

Cato, 48, was arraigned on several charges, including murder and manslaughter, relating to her daughter’s death, and Judge Simiyon Haniff ordered that she should be held without bail.

Cato wept as the charges were read out but the judge told her that she had to pay attention: “Miss Cato, I noticed your head has been down,” he said, “but I want you to make sure you heard and understand”.

According to police, there had been at least 10 prior calls to the apartment, involving the mother's ex-boyfriend.

Neighbours told the New York Post that they regularly heard the sounds of screaming and fighting from the family’s Brooklyn apartment.

“I heard a lot of screaming and fighting from the apartment,” Jason Rahimzadeh said Monday. “I heard loud arguments at least 10 times, where they were screaming at the top of their lungs. The family kept to themselves”.

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“We all knew that apartment was trouble,” said local bar owner Bart Hubbuch. “Their mother frequently cussed them out and wouldn’t let them play with the other kids on the block”.

He added that Shalom and her sister were "very well mannered."

“The mom was a nightmare though. She was always screaming at them. She had this little dog and was really skinny," he said.

Two dogs were also removed in crates from the home. Cato remains in custody and is due back in court on Friday May 20. If found guilty, she could face a life sentence. Her older daughter Wisdom has been placed in care.

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