Grandmother of 4-Year-Old Girl Found Dead Near Putah Creek Speaks Out, Defends Her Son

WINTERS -- It's an unwelcoming, downhill walk to Putah Creek, just 200 yards from a soccer field, a daycare facility and an apartment complex.

It was in this unincorporated area in Yolo County where, Sunday evening, medics found a lifeless 4-year-old girl.

The Yolo County Sheriff's Department has since arrested her biological father, 26-year-old Markeese Carter. He has been charged with her murder and sexual assault.

"My God. Yeah, that makes you sick," said neighbor Jack Burrall.

Burrall was floored finding out what deputies say happened right in his backyard.

"Makes you wonder if they live here," he said.

They do.

"My son wouldn't harm his kid," said Willene Callen, Carter's mother.

Callen spoke with FOX40 on Monday night to defend her son as a father.

"These are allegations against him. They're wrong. They're not right," she said.

Callen says she left her apartment at El Rio Villas Sunday to take her friend's young daughter home after a sleepover. She says when she returned Carter was hysterical.

"He said, 'I was reading them a book, and we were at the park talking, and you know how she, how she moved and she walked,' and he had my little daughter, my little granddaughter Fatima there too. He like 'get in the car, go' and I'm following her to the field over to where she at, and all I seen was my granddaughter over there," Callen said.

She says her own son would never sexually assault or harm his own child.

Rather, she described him as overprotective and intellectual.

"Even towards me as his mother, he had guidelines and rules that he dealt me with my grandchildren," Callen said.

The sheriff's department says the initial 911 call was for a possible drowning victim, but they are now investigating the 4-year-old's death as a homicide.

They are not releasing Carter's photo until they sit down with other witnesses.

His family says his little girl will be remembered as a joy in this world.

"She's one of those little kids once you meet her, you will never forget her," one family member said.

"That's my heart, I loved her, I just wanna know what happened to my baby," Callen said.