A three-year-old girl was found unconscious and unresponsive in an apartment in Queens on Monday and police believe her stepfather was her killer.
Marc Jenkins, 32, is charged with second-degree depraved murder and first-degree depraved assault of little Bella Edwards, who was pronounced dead after she was transferred to a hospital, reported WPIX.
On Wednesday, prosecutors in court said the way Edwards was murdered was "unbelievably violent."
Official believe Jenkins allegedly struck the child so hard in the abdomen that her stomach nearly ripped apart. Police were initially called to the home around 6 p.m. on Monday and found Jenkins performing CPR on the child.
Edwards and her 3-month-old brother were left with Jenkins for several hours while their mother was out.
Jenkins is considered by family to be the girl's stepfather and is the biological father of the 3-month-old boy.
Jenkins and the children left home the home in the afternoon and returned around 4:30 p.m., according to video surveillance obtained by investigators, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said in a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Investigators believe the girl was fatally beaten after they returned home. The medical examiner ruled that Edwards died of blunt force trauma to her stomach with other medical studies pending.
A police source told PIX11 News that Edwards' body was covered in bruises, had new injuries and old injuries in the process of healing, and there were signs of sexual abuse.
After his arrest, Jenkins "almost immediately" requested an attorney and he is not talking to detectives, Boyce told reporters.
(Photo: New York Police Department)