A mother and father in Florida who have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of their infant daughter apparently had no idea that there was anything wrong with her.
According to WPTV, the day Kristen Meyer was charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter on September 29, 2016, she told investigators that she never noticed any problems with the infant.
"I saw that she was OK, I never. I knew she was small. I didn't realize she was that small," Meyer said, in a taped statement.
At the time of her death, Meyer’s daughter, 13-month-old Tayla Aleman, weighed just 7 pounds—the size of a newborn.
According to reports, Tayla actually weighed 8 pounds at birth.
New police interview tapes released by WPTV reveal the mindsets that the baby’s parents, Meyer and Alejandro Aleman, were in at the time of their daughter’s death.
"She was eating good," Meyer told detectives.
At 13 months old, Tayla was still wearing clothing meant for a 3-month-old, but Meyer never consulted with a doctor about her daughter’s weight.
"Of course I thought she was thin. I know I'm feeding her, she's not acting un-normal," she said.
Aleman echoed his wife’s behavior, insisting that the couple’s daughter ate all the time.
"I know the baby was eating. I bought the stuff," said Aleman.
But, according to Aleman, he wasn’t really involved in raising Tayla. He claims he never fed, clothed, changed, or even held the baby.
"I don't hold little kids, there's no law that I have to hold my daughter," Aleman told detectives.
Tayla finally died at a hospital last April after reportedly being starved to death by her parents.
One doctor called it "the worst starvation case" he'd ever seen, according to WPTV.
When authorities first visited the couple’s residence, they noted that the smell of urine and feces was extremely overpowering.
Reports show that Meyer and Aleman also had 10 other children between the two of them.
When the couple faces trial in January 2018, prosecutors will ask for the death penalty.
According to reports, the Florida Department of Children and Families had investigated the family several times prior to Tayla’s death, and the agency has since admitted to making mistakes in this particular instance.
After this story was shared on Facebook, many commenters suggested that the Florida Department of Children and Families should also be held accountable for Tayla’s horrific death.