SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Investigative documents have been released in the case of a mother who was charged in her 2-year-old daughter's death.
According to investigative records, abuse began as soon as Tariji and her brother and sisters were returned to their mom, Rachel Fryer. The children had been removed after Tariji's twin brother was suffocated by Fryer on the couch, killing him. Investigators ruled it accidental at the time.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents called it "prolonged" abuse for more than a month, until Tariji was found dead on Feb. 11. Her body was stuffed in a suitcase, barely buried, in Crescent City.
Documents from prosecutors show that Fryer would beat Tariji and only Tariji -- not her siblings -- when the 2-year-old wouldn't listen. Her brother and sisters told investigators, "Mommy Rachel is sick of her... Mommy hits [Tariji] with a brown stick, a broom and a mop till [Tariji] cries."
Around the time that Tariji's former foster mother discovered that the little girl was missing, the girl's father said he'd seen Fryer "pushing [Tariji] and her falling into a step in the living room... [Tariji] did poop in her pants... And Ms. Fryer punished her by spanking her and making her stand up against the wall with her hands in the air."
The girl's father told investigators that Fryer would routinely Ace-bandage [Tariji's] arms up over her head as a form of punishment."
An autopsy showed bite marks on Tariji's arm and shoulder, hair missing from her scalp, two front teeth missing, cigarette burns on her hand and bleeding in her brain.
The FDLE lab concluded that Fryer's teeth matched the bites and found Tariji's DNA was on a burnt cigarette butt found at the house.
When Fryer was arrested she told investigators Tariji wasn't moving when she went to wake her up so she put her body in a suitcase, traveled to Crescent City and buried her in the suitcase in the ground. She claimed she did not kill her daughter.
Fryer remains in the Seminole County Jail charged with murder.
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