SANFORD, Fla. - Investigators believe a few hours could have meant the difference between life or death for a 2-year-old girl who was beaten to death by her mother in February, authorities said.
Channel 9 obtained disturbing pictures that show the dangerous conditions Tariji Gorgon and her family
were living in before Rachel Fryer allegedly beat the girl to death at a Sanford apartment.
WFTV's Tim Barber said the photos and a new report explain why prosecutors may go after the death penalty in the case.
According to the report, if Tariji had gotten medical treatment in the 24 hours after she was beaten, she may have lived.
Photos show the family's messy duplex with dangerous chemicals on the floor,
clothes and toys strung about, and the mop and flip-flops Tariji's siblings told detectives Fryer used as weapons against the 2-year old.
Investigators found Tariji's blood on the comforter, in a hallway and in the bathroom, the report said.
Sanford police said they believe Fryer beat Tariji to death, stuffed her body in a suitcase and buried her in a shallow grave in Putnam County.
The new records also show Fryer's nephew
, Kyle Lytle , told investigators he dropped his aunt off there.
Cellphone evidence shows Fryer left her apartment on Feb. 7 at 9:53 p.m., went to Putnam County and returned Saturday about 4:19 p.m.
But Fryer's statements contradicted that timeline
, and she is adamant she buried her daughter because she panicked after the child stopped breathing.
Investigators said cigarette burns and bite marks on the girl tell a more sinister story.
More warning signs in the records suggest Tariji was being abused long before the night she was allegedly murdered, Barber said.