A Fort Worth woman who said her girlfriend's 2-year-old son was fatally injured in March when he fell from a bed has now been accused of murder in the child's death.
Zahira Lavon Hill, who will turn 28 on Thursday, was arrested Monday by fugitive officers on a capital murder warrant. She is accused of inflicting blunt force trauma to the head and abdomen of Saiden Levi Robertson, the son of her live-in girlfriend.
She was being held in the Tarrant County Jail Wednesday with bail set at $500,000.
Police had been called to the family's apartment in the 1600 block of Homedale Drive in east Fort Worth shortly after noon on March 17 on a report of a child in cardiac arrest. Saiden was taken to Cook Children's Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
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Hill, who described herself as the toddler's stepmother, had been caring for the child while his mother was at work, according to an arrest warrant affidavit, written by Detective V. Coronado with the crimes against children unit.
The boy's mother told investigators that her son was in good condition and did not have any injuries on his face when she left for work that morning between 9 and 9:30 a.m.
Hill told Coronado that she had been showering when she heard a loud noise and Saiden crying, the affidavit states.
When she checked on the boy, she found he had fallen from the bed, cutting his foot and hitting his mouth. She told Coronado that she did not know the boy had hit his head.
She said the boy initially seemed fine but then lost consciousness. She put him into a cold shower, which did not help, and then called 911, she told police.
But the affidavit states Hill gave inconsistent statements about the details surrounding the boy's injuries to the 911 call taker, paramedics, firefighters and investigators.
On April 19, police conducted a second search of the apartment, using a reagent to search for blood stains that may have been washed out, wiped off or are not visible to the naked eye.
The affidavit states crime scene officers received positive reactions from numerous locations in the apartment, indicating that Hill had cleaned up blood evidence before police arrived on the day that Saiden was fatally injured.
On April 25, investigators learned the Tarrant County medical examiner's office had formally ruled Saiden's death a homicide, caused by blunt force trauma to the head and abdomen. Dr. Marc Krouse told investigators that the injuries were inconsistent with a fall from a bed and that Saiden had also suffered rib fractures.
"Dr. Krouse stated that his abdominal injury was fatal and that the symptoms would have been immediate," Coronado wrote in the affidavit.
That affidavit also says Saiden had been treated the day before his death at an Arlington emergency room for constipation issues. A review of those medical records by Krouse showed that the boy had not suffered the fatal abdominal injury at that time, the affidavit states.
Investigators believe Hill killed Saiden because she was the only person with the boy when he began showing symptoms, numerous inconsistencies in her story, and her failure to provide an explanation for the injuries that is consistent with the medical examiner's findings.
On a GoFundMe page started two days after the boy's death, Saiden's mother wrote: "I don’t know where to start. This morning is the morning we realized nothing will ever be the same. We didn’t wake to say hey Sai go get on the potty and you say “Otay”. You didn’t ask for juice this morning or to turn on the TV. No this morning we opened our eyes and realize this nightmare is real. You have changed so many lives in so many ways, in so little time.. We love you and miss you Saiden. All We keep asking is how and why. RIP Baby boy."
As of Monday, the page had raised $510 of its $1,000 goal.