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Durham police: Mom admitted to fatally beating 4-year-old daughter

Posted September 27, 2014

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— A 27-year-old woman was charged with first-degree murder late Friday after admitting to Durham police that she beat her 4-year-old daughter to death.

Jessica Warren was in the Durham County jail Saturday being held without bond.

Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez told WRAL News that Warren admitted to investigators that she beat her daughter, Armani Hodges, to death at about 8:45 p.m. Thursday night at an apartment in the 700 block of Falls Pointe Drive.

"The mother did admit that she caused the injuries on the child that subsequently caused her to die," Lopez said. "We are talking about broken ribs, things of that nature from striking her."

Police were called to the apartment and found Armani unconscious. Efforts to revive the child failed and she died later Thursday evening.

According to Lopez, social services was involved with the family.

"I kind of knew something was wrong," said Quiana Hodges, Armani's paternal aunt. "I knew something wasn't right."

Family members said Armani was a "bubbly little girl" who was "full of life."

"I just want answers," said Sharon Warren, the child's grandmother.

An aunt, L'Cristi Sellers, said, "She fell and hit her head. I really don't know know heads or tails of it."

"I'm not exactly sure what reason is being given, but quite frankly it is a four-year-old so it is hard to image that someone would want to do that," Lopez said.

No other information about Armani's death has been released.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • jaw8823 Sep 30, 2014

    Sitting here with tears! CPS stop leaving these children unprotected. Involve reliable people to be your eyes and ears for you. Family of theses children, step up! Don't ask the question "what happen". CPS, ask for volunteers to look after the children reported to you. I volunteer to help save a child. Telling you now, if I see you hitting the child in what appears to be harmful, I am calling on you. WRAL please help me help them; advertise commercials that encourage others to report cases instead of turning a blind eye to what you see. Neighbors of these children that died to the abuse of a mother, father or care giver, please help save the next child. Most people don't get involved because of what others think but I pleading to you GET INVOLVED!

  • charmed Sep 29, 2014

    This is not the first time this woman beat her daughter. Relatives act shocked but they have seen it before. You hear it in the stores "i'm gonna give u a wooping when we get home " or they just do it there. Makes me sick the family is shocked and upset. The family did nothing to protect this child from the monster

  • eyeoneastsky Sep 29, 2014

    Why is a Dept. of Social Services being funded if they cannot protect the children?
    "According to Lopez, social services was involved with the family". CPS should be forced to give an account to the public as to why this horrible thing happened. What absolute betrayal this innocent 4 yr old experienced. Betrayed by the mother who should have loved and protected her with her own life, betrayed by the Government system who knew what was happening and closed a blind eye to it, betrayed by a family who didn't care. What a way to leave this world! With your Mother's hateful enraged face being the last thing you see as the curtain falls.