Two people were arrested Thursday for the death of a 2-year-old girl.
Stockton Police arrested the baby’s father, 27-year-old Dwight Slay and his girlfriend, 30-year-old Latima Coleman for felony child abuse.
Last Sunday, authorities arrived at Slay and Coleman’s home on East 11th Street, after receiving a call about a dead child. Neighbors told FOX40 that the 2-year-old victim was Slay’s daughter, Tafari Barris.
An autopsy was conducted earlier in the week. The pathologist determined in was a homicide, and arrested Slay and Coleman shortly after.
Some neighbors who wished to remain anonymous said they had heard rumors of Tafari being abused.
“I heard by a certain person, that the baby was abused,” she said. “I saw she had a burnt mark on her face, and her arm was broken one time.”
But another neighbor FOX40 spoke to said, she could not speak for Slay, but was determined Coleman had nothing to do with Tafari’s death.
“I know her first hand. I know Latima.” she said. “She loved that baby like it was her own. She took that baby in knowing that it was somebody else’s baby. And she always said that baby has had such a hard life, that’s messed up, so she felt for her.”
FOX40 was told Tafari had jumped around between several different caregivers her entire short life. Neighbors said there were emergency calls made to the residence on many occasions regarding her abuse. However, when authorities arrived, they said the children were nowhere to be found. Some said had there been better intervention, Tafari’s death could have been prevented.
“When somebody reports something take heave,” said an anonymous neighbor. “They’re not calling you just to be calling you, and if you don’t see kids, come back again.”
Stockton Police said the investigation is still ongoing.