It's unimaginable to think a 10-year-old child would have to apply makeup and put on a wig to conceal scars and bruises she suffered after her parents allegedly beat her -- but that's what Charleeni Ferreira told a classmate she did.
Just weeks before the Feltonville girl died she told her best friend, Cheyenne Roundtree, about her painful secrets she was allegedly forced to hide.
"Every time she came to school there was this orange makeup on," the girl said. "I would ask her what that was on her head and she would tell me a wig. She told me ‘My mom would pull out my hair and she cut me.’ It was a big gash in her face and they filled it with a gauze."
The Feltonville Intermediate School 5th grader died at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children Wednesday after her lungs collapsed from an infection related to broken ribs that were left untreated, according to investigators.
Charleeni’s father Domingo, 53, and her step mother Margarita Garabito, 43, were charged with Murder and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Doctors, who examined the little girl uncovered physical and sexual abuse including a broken hipbone and vaginal and anal scaring.
“She would tell me her mom pushed her down the stairs, that her mom beat her and broke her bones,” said Roundtree.
Neighbors and friends gathered at the C Street home Friday where Charleeni lived with her father, stepmother and her two teenaged stepbrothers.
Many questions still surround this disturbing case especially why teachers and staff didn’t notice Charleeni’s scars and broken hip.
“Where was the school? Where was the school psychologist? Where were the teachers? They knew it and they covered up and didn’t do anything about it and unfortunately it will be on their heads for the rest of their life,” said neighbor Lillian Fabian.
Police said they are awaiting DNA and toxicology results to determine the extent of possible sexual abuse.