The emaciated body of a 9-year-old girl with cerebral palsy has been found stuffed in her mom's refrigerator. Amber Keyes, 34, discovered her daughter Ayahna Comb wasn't breathing in January and "decided to clear out a drawer in the refrigerator and place her body in there," a Child Protective Services rep said at a hearing yesterday, according to the Houston Chronicle. A family friend recently saw the body and alerted police, who found her 14-pound body, "in the beginning stages of decomposition," in a search of the apartment Monday. A grim detail: The girl's 5-year-old sister had apparently discovered the body, wrapped in blankets, earlier while searching for a snack, a child advocate caseworker said.
Ayahna's father, Armand Comb, says he saw his daughter two months ago—"I picked her up, hugged her, talked to her," he told KTRK—but family members say he had a seizure around that time that affected his memory. Since that time, he says, he thought he'd continued to speak to his daughter: "I'd been on the phone and I was singing her songs and stuff and the whole time she was lying," he said of Keyes, who claimed at the time that their daughter was smiling on the other end of the line. Keyes is cooperating with the investigation and detectives "are going to finish their investigation before anyone is charged," a police rep says. CPS now has temporary custody of Ayahna's younger sister, and family members are seeking custody.