CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - A mother and her girlfriend are in custody after police say a 4-year-old girl died under questionable circumstances.
Jamila Hart, 4, was found not breathing when officers arrived at a home in Rivers Edge Apartments near Riverdale on Aug. 24.
Police said Hart was not breathing and had numerous bruises on her head and body.
"This child had been beaten about her head. This child had massive bruises," County Police spokeswoman JaQuitta Williams Clayton said.
The child's mother, Danielle Hart, 24, and Hart's partner, Shardae Glover, 28, were taken into custody.
Police said they were initially charged with child cruelty and child deprivation related to two small children who were inside the home at the time of the incident.
On Friday, police said charges against Glover were upgraded to murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and first-degree child cruelty.
Danielle Hart is still charged with child cruelty and child deprivation.
Police said the exact cause of death is still unknown and they are still investigating the case.
“I just went outside in front of my door and just broke down crying because I was just devastated," neighbor Asia Cherry said.
"This baby's 4 years old. She's defenseless. She can't do nothing against a grown person," neighbor William Johnson said.
Cherry and Johnson say they tried to save Jamila Hart inside her mother's unit Sunday. They're relieved after hearing police arrested Jamila's mother, Danielle Hart and her domestic partner, Shardae Glover.
Both face child cruelty and child deprivation charges.
Johnson said he was in his apartment when he heard someone beating and screaming at his door. "The young lady was like, 'My baby's not breathing, my baby is not breathing.'"
He said he started CPR. Cherry, a nursing student, soon joined in. She said she couldn't get a pulse and she noticed the bruises on the baby. That's when she says she heard something odd.
"I asked the parents did y'all call 911, did you call 911? And the mother's girlfriend and she was like, 'I'm going to jail. I'm going to jail.''
"All you could hear is I don't want to go to jail. I don't want to go to jail," Johnson said.
It hurts the neighbors to know they couldn't save little Jamila. "We just sick to our stomachs," Cherry said.
Police said the other two children that were in the home are in state custody. Meanwhile, people live in the complex and are haunted by what happened plan to hold a candlelight vigil in Jamila's honor.
They are still trying to decide when the vigil will take place.