Local News

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

Posted September 27, 2014 12:31 a.m. EDT
Updated September 27, 2014 5:10 p.m. EDT

— 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.