A young Nevada mother has been arrested for the death of her 5-year-old child, who was locked in a hot bedroom without any air conditioning alongside her younger sister amid a heatwave.
Kemaya Taylor was taken into custody Monday night and is facing a charge of open murder and two counts of child abuse or neglect. When officers arrived at her Las Vegas home around 7 p.m. that day, they found Taylor’s elder daughter unresponsive inside an overheated bedroom. She was pronounced dead a short time later, reported 8NewsNow.
Las Vegas police Lt. Ray Spencer said Thursday that authorities believe the child died from heat-related causes and that abuse and neglect detectives are handling the case, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Las Vegas reached a high of 107 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday.
The girl’s 2-year-old sister meanwhile, survived the ordeal and was rescued by Child Protective Services.
Neighbors said Taylor was outside her home, located in the Silverado Courtyard gated community in Silverado Ranch, shouting and damaging cars when authorities arrived on the scene.
“A lot of the kids just run around the neighborhood, and they’re always really good,” resident Eric Wingfield told 8News. “It’s always pretty quiet around here. It’s just not something you would think would happen this close.”
Taylor’s landlord, who did not want to be named, said the 23-year-old mother, who was mostly quiet, appeared to be struggling in the days leading up to her child’s death.
“She was in a mess,” the landlord told the Las Vegas-Review Journal. “Her hair was all a mess, the whole house was a mess, and she was packing. That’s when I said, ‘You know, I think it is not good you are all by yourself with two kids. You should get in touch with your family,’ and she said, ‘I have no one.’”