A New York City man accused of killing his 3-year-old stepdaughter for soiling her pants was arrested after his own horrified mother turned him in, sources say. Kelsey Smith is believed to have flown into a rage and savagely beaten Jeida Torres on Saturday, police sources tell the New York Daily News. He allegedly called 911 posing as a neighbor before fleeing the family's apartment in a Brooklyn homeless shelter. Cops found the dying toddler and her badly beaten 5-year-old brother, who police believe may have tried to intervene when Smith attacked his sister. Police say Smith, 20, routinely watched his new wife's two children when she was at work and there had been no previous domestic violence calls to the apartment.
The 5-year-old boy is still in the hospital, as is Smith, who relatives say tried to slit his wrists in a suicide attempt before police caught up with him, reports the New York Times. He has been charged with felony assault and acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17 years old; murder charges may follow. Neighbors say they heard loud arguments at the apartment in recent weeks, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has promised a thorough investigation, reports CBS 2. "A person doesn't start taking the life of a child overnight, it is something that is built up to," he says. "Did we have this abuser among us and it was ignored?" (In Mexico earlier this year, police and soldiers managed to rescue hundreds of abused kids from "truly terrible conditions" in a refuge.)