HARRIS COUNTY, Texas -- A mother has been charged with capital murder in the stabbing death of her 4-year-old daughter in west Harris County.
Prosecutors say Laquita Lewis, 34, stabbed little Fredricka Allen several times in the chest and left her to die on the bedroom.
“It’s the worst news you’d want to hear about a family member -- especially someone of that age. It’s devastating," said Randy Sample, a relative.
Sample said Lewis had argued with Fredricka’s father, Fredrick Allen, before allegedly stabbing their daughter.
Investigators said Lewis left the apartment and was involved in a car accident. She was at a hospital when she texted her family to apologize for what had happened.
"She texted that the baby had gone to heaven, that she had killed the baby," Sample said. “It's insane, to take a 4 year old’s life like that."
Neighbors were having a tough time dealing with the news.
“Yeah, it’s heartbreaking," said Sarai Medina. "You would never expect that from a mother."
Even though the family had only lived at the complex for a few months, neighbors knew the little girl.
“Yeah, she was always happy. She would always tell me that my dog was cute and everything,” said Melody Medina.
Burim Hoax said little Fredricka would greet him in the apartment complex parking lot almost every day.
“She would say to me, 'Good morning.'"
The scene was so disturbing that chaplains were out here to console family members, as well as the deputies who discovered her body.
“There’s not enough words to describe the horrible death of this child,” said HCSO Spokesperson Thomas Gilliland.
According to the Harris County DA's office, Lewis was charged in November for making a terroristic threat during a Thanksgiving incident in which she threatened her 16-year-old son. Lewis, with a knife.
She was sentenced in February to 15 months of deferred adjudication in that case.
The DA's office says that as part of her probation requirements, she was required to take a Texas Risk Assessment System evaluation, which ranked her with a score of zero (the lowest score) for her risk for recidivism.
CPS in Houston said they were also familiar with the family and issued the following statement:
"Child Protective Services is investigating this terrible tragedy and we grieve with their family for their loss. We are working with law enforcement to figure out what happened. CPS had previous involvement with this family, but we cannot discuss details because of confidentiality. It is important to learn everything we can about this tragedy and what may have led to it, so our Office of Child Safety will conduct an independent and comprehensive review of how CPS handled any prior allegations involving the Lewis family. Those reports take time, but it will be made available to the public."
The family has set up a gofundme.com page to help with funeral expenses.