Sanford police arrest Rachel Fryer in homicide of 2-year-old daughter
Mom, who DCF says is pregnant, arrested after body of girl found in Putnam County
A judge denied bond on Thursday at the first appearance on new charges for Rachel Fryer, who was charged with murder on Wednesday in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Tariji Gordon.
Fryer, 32, who the Department of Children and Families says is pregnant, has been charged with homicide (murder while engaged in certain felony offense), aggravated child abuse, evidence destruction/tampering and the mishandling of a dead human body/remains.
DCF says Fryer is far along in her pregnancy and if a baby is born in jail, parents can give the infant up for adoption or the child would be taken away and protected by the state. Her next court date is April 1.
According to the report released on Wednesday, although Fryer made it seem like an accident that Tariji was found unresponsive, investigators believe Fryer killed her. Investigators found bite marks on Tariji, which were connected Fryer.
The report also stated Tariji died of blunt force trauma to the head and that the signs trauma show Fryer abused Tariji so badly she died.
Tariji's father told investigators that he witnessed Fryer abuse Tariji after she went to the bathroom in her pants. The report stated the father saw Fryer "pushing the child victim onto the floor with the child victim striking a step." The father told investigators Tariji appeared fine when he left later in the morning on Feb. 6.
Fryer remains jailed at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility. She was originally arrested on child neglect charges after the death of her 2-year-old daughter earlier this month.
She allegedly admitted to police she then put the girl's body in a suitcase and drove to Putnam County before burying the girl's remains in a shallow grave.
The investigation into Tariji's death and 2011 the death of her brother, 2-month-old Tavontae Gordon, are ongoing.
Fryer's arrest on new murder charges comes the same day Fryer said in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel that the Department of Children and Families failed her.
"They always try to make you look bad," Fryer told the Sentinel. "I asked them one time for $325 for my rent. They wouldn't even pay that ... wouldn't help a struggling mother. They'd rather pay foster parents $500 a child rather than help me out."
DCF tells Local 6 Fryer never worked with their agency, but other social service agencies in Seminole County.
Watch Local 6 for more on this story.