Marvin Brito and Shana Pedroso have both been accused of child abuse after their 6-year-old daughter was found dead in Massachusetts earlier this week

By Chris Harris
April 12, 2018 02:26 PM
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Police in Massachusetts have arrested the parents of a 6-year-old girl who was found dead on Tuesday inside a home in Fitchburg, PEOPLE confirms.

Marvin Brito, 38, is charged with two counts of reckless endangerment of a child and two counts of permitting substantial injury to a child, according to a statement from Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Shana Pedroso, 37, is charged with two counts of assault and battery on a child with injury and two counts of reckless endangerment of a child.

The suspects both pleaded not guilty and have a next court hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

Their daughter, Sophia Brito, was pronounced dead after arriving at a hospital in Leominster. Authorities say the cause and manner of her death is still pending confirmation and additional charges are possible.

Sophia’s older brother was also injured and was hospitalized, Early said.

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Both defendants are being held without bail. Their attorneys did not immediately return messages seeking comment on Thursday.

Authorities have not discussed a possible motive in the girl’s death. However, court records obtained by the Boston Herald show authorities are alleging Pedroso and Brito told their 9-year-old son not to call 911 about Sophia’s death.

The Herald reports the charges allege the boy said his mother had closed a wound to his neck with super glue. He told investigators he and his little sister were hurt on Monday while out with a walk when they were attacked by “bullies,” according to these local reports.

According to MassLive.com, also citing court documents, the injured boy was found with significant facial bruising while Shana’s body was covered in bruises.

Fitchburg police believe Pedroso beat her daughter for not drinking water — though her brother said she was unable to, apparently due to her injuries — according to local TV station WBZ. The station further reports police recovered notes the mother had allegedly written describing her kids as “bad” and stating that they were “beaten.”