US police: Mother says she hid daughter's body in duffel bag
A 29-year-old Las Vegas mother of four told police she hid her 3-year-old daughter's lifeless body in a duffel bag in her apartment closet almost 19 hours before calling 911 and reporting the girl missing, according to a police report obtained on Tuesday.
Aisha Yvonne Thomas told detectives she hit her daughter in the head after the girl wet her pants about 02:00 on August 23 and the girl fell to the floor and would not stop crying.
Thomas told police she left the apartment for 10 minutes to go to a convenience store and returned to find her daughter wrapped in a blanket and not breathing.
"Thomas 'panicked' and wrapped (the child) in multiple trash bag(s) before putting her inside a duffel bag and concealing her in the closet," the report said. The name of the child was blacked out in the copy obtained by The Associated Press.
The Clark County coroner has not confirmed the identity of the girl or said how and when she died.
Thomas' public defender, Sarah Hawkins, declined immediate comment about Thomas' statement to police.
Thomas plans to plead not guilty to the felony murder charge against her, Hawkins said.
A Las Vegas judge said on Tuesday that Thomas would remain jailed without bail pending an October 1 preliminary hearing to determine if Thomas should stand trial in state court.
Police say Thomas called police at almost 23:00 that night and reported that her daughter wandered away while walking to a grocery store with her and her other children. Officers searching the apartment found the body and identified it as the girl they were looking for.
The girl's father, Don Edward Hunt jnr, 30, was in jail at the time.
He had been arrested August 19 on a California state parole violation by Las Vegas police investigating a domestic violence complaint at the same apartment, according to police and jail records.
Hunt is being held at the Clark County jail pending his transfer in custody to California.
Thomas' three other children have been turned over to child welfare officials, police said.
Jail records showed Thomas also faces multiple warrants for unpaid traffic infractions and separate felony bad check and misdemeanour obstruction charges.
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