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Some news is so unbelievable and heartbreaking that you almost can’t believe that it’s true. Such is the case with the news of a young girl who was killed after her overweight cousin sat on her as a form of discipline.

Florida police are still shaking their heads regarding the case of 9-year-old Dericka Lindsey, who died as a result of her 325-pound cousin sitting on her to punish her for being “out of control.” Pensacola police have filed multiple charges against the victim’s cousin, 64-year-old Veronica Green Posey, including homicide and cruelty toward a child, as reported by The Root.

Via The Root:

According to the Pensacola News, paramedics found the victim, Dericka Lindsay, unresponsive and rushed her to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The arrest report notes that Posey told the responding deputy that she sat on Dericka to punish her “for being out of control.” Throughout the “punishment,” Dericka told Posey and other adults present that she could not breathe. When Posey finally stood up, they found the child unresponsive and called 911.

Grace Joan Smith, 69, and James Edmond Smith, 62, are also facing charges of child neglect in the case for failing to report the abuse. Grace Smith is also facing charges of cruelty toward a child in the incident. The report lists the Smiths as Dericka’s parents. Posey was listed as the Smiths’ niece.

Grace Smith called Posey to her home to assist with disciplining the young child, according to the report. Grace Smith told investigators that Posey struck Dericka with a ruler and a metal pipe before Dericka ran to an armchair. Posey then sat on the small child in the armchair for about 10 minutes before Dericka complained that she couldn’t breathe. Still, Posey remained seated for another two minutes before finally getting up.

In an even more disturbing turn in this case, the Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, Mike Carroll, told local news outlets that Dericka’s family had prior interactions with the system involving child welfare. He further condemned the young girl’s death stating:

“Dericka’s death is appalling and DCF will continue coordinating with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office to hold anyone responsible for her death accountable,” Carroll said. “As the family has a prior interaction with the child-welfare system, a thorough quality-assurance review will be conducted to review all prior interactions this family has had with the child-welfare system.”

Both Posey and The Smiths were booked into the Escambia County Jail. Posey posted her $125,000 bond and has since been released, while both Grace and James Smith remain behind bars and have yet to post their respective $75,000 and $50,000 bonds.


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Child Dead After 325-Pound Cousin Sat On Her As Punishment  was originally published on