Mom accused of killing daughter due in court Friday

Kamilah Russell was pronounced dead at the hospital Tuesday afternoon.

March 11, 2010 5:33:08 PM PST
A 19-year-old woman remains in custody facing murder charges that she killed her own 2-year-old daughter just days after being visited by Child Protective Services. CPS officials in Oakland say they did a welfare check on Tiffany Lopez's children just nine days ago to follow up on a child abuse complaint filed in San Mateo, where she lived until last month.

His daughter's dolls are just some of the painful reminders Joseph Russell returned home to collect Thursday. Police say his girlfriend, Tiffany Lopez, admitted to killing their 2-year-old daughter Kamilah out of frustration.

Lopez and Russell also have another baby and Lopez is three months pregnant with their third child.

"Just to know her own mama took her life; it's making me die deep inside, man, to know that my daughter ain't here no more," Russell said.

Surveillance video from their Oakland apartment shows paramedics rushing Kamilah to the hospital. Minutes later, Lopez followed.

Family members say Lopez called Russell from the Santa Rita Jail last night and tried to explain what happened. She said Kamilah would not stop crying when her father left the house Tuesday evening. Lopez said she put her hand over the girl's mouth to get her to be quiet; then, Kamilah stopped breathing.

In December Lopez was arrested in San Mateo, accused of beating her 11-year-old brother and squeezing her infant daughter.

"She made it seem like she was too stressed out to be a mom," Russell said.

If Lopez was overwhelmed by her situation agencies like Oakland's Brighter Beginnings are there to help. The non-profit provides everything for teen moms and their babies from diapers to children's books and most importantly, connections to resources that are out there.

"Your life is not over once you have a child; it may not be something planned, but anything you want is open up to you," Brighter Beginnings case manager Keturah Hood said.

Lopez is due in court on Friday.


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