The mother of a 4-year-old Camden, New Jersey, girl who died this week has been charged in the girl's death because she allegedly failed to seek medical attention for three days, according to a criminal complaint.
Lucy Gunter, 20, told detectives that her daughter Natalise was in the care of the father of Gunter's two other children Saturday when the man allegedly "beat Natalise because she would not eat," the complaint says.
Still, Gunter admitted she did not seek medical attention for her daughter even though the girl's condition deteriorated over the next few days, according to the complaint.
The man, meanwhile, has not been charged.
The girl had a tooth knocked out and suffered a gash under her eye, according to the affidavit.
On Tuesday around 8:15 a.m., Gunter called 911 and police and paramedics responded to the home on the 1400 block of South 9th Street in Camden. When they arrived they found Natalise unresponsive with cuts and bruises on her face. She was taken to Cooper University Hospital where she was pronounced dead shortly before 9 a.m.
Gunter was remanded to the Camden County Jail pending a pretrial detention hearing set for Friday.
Neighbors who watched paramedics try to save the girl told NBC10 they noticed Lucy Gunter acting strange.
"Her mother was sitting on the steps," Pedro Colon said. "She was cold-blooded. She didn't really cry. She didn't do nothing."
Family members of the girl gathered at Gunter's home Wednesday night for a memorial and vigil.
"She'd run, she'd see me," said Jessica Lightfoot, Natalise Gunter's grandmother. "'Mama! Mama!' Like, 'Yes mama girl! I'm always your girl!' And I'd say, 'I love you babe.' 'I love you too.' I'm going to miss that. We're not going to hear that anymore."
While family members mourned the girl they also remained supportive of Lucy Gunter.
"She needed her family and her village's help," Lightfoot said. "She had some influence that was blocking that help that she knows she always had."
Lucy Gunter's brother James Gunter also had a message for his sister.
"I just love you so much," he said. "Just don't cry, keep your head up. And something is going to come out of this and you need to speak up."
Family members also say Lucy Gunter has two other children who are in foster care.