WESTMINSTER, CA – A mother from California is facing murder charges after allegedly drowning her 9-year-old daughter, who was wheelchair-bound and non-verbal, in a bathtub. The child’s body was reportedly left in the bathtub for several days.
The mother, identified as 32-year-old Khadiyjah Aliyyah Pendergraph, was charged with a felony count of murder on Tuesday, following the discovery of her daughter’s body in their Westminster apartment last Friday. The charges were filed by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
The victim, Victoria, was wheelchair-bound due to her disability and was unable to communicate verbally. Victoria’s body was found in a state of decomposition in the apartment’s bathtub, a discovery made on the same day Pendergraph was apprehended by police in a grocery store parking lot in Aliso Viejo.
The police had been alerted by Victoria’s father, who had requested a welfare check on his daughter and her mother after receiving alarming messages from his ex-wife. Upon conducting the welfare check, officers discovered Victoria’s lifeless body, showing signs of trauma.
The District Attorney’s Office reported that Victoria’s father had tried to pick up his daughter for a scheduled visit on Thanksgiving Day, but found the apartment locked and unresponsive. In the days following Victoria’s death, Pendergraph allegedly attempted suicide.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer expressed his sorrow over the tragic incident, stating that while families across the country were enjoying Thanksgiving, Victoria’s life was tragically cut short by her own mother.
If convicted, Pendergraph could face a sentence of 25 years to life.