• Indictment shows details in case against Sanford woman accused of killing daughter, 2


    SANFORD, Fla. - Investigators said a pattern of abuse by a Seminole County mother ended with the death of her own child, and a grand jury has formally charged her with first-degree murder.

    Rachel Fryer, 32, is accused of killing her daughter, 2-year-old Tariji Gordon. Tariji's body was later found in a shallow grave in Putnam County.

    The five counts in the indictment include first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated child abuse.

    Channel 9's Kenneth Craig reviewed newly released documents detailing the grand jury indictment against Fryer.

    Because grand jury proceedings are secret and closed to the public, Channel 9 was not allowed inside. On Thursday, Craig requested at copy of the paperwork, which shows exactly what evidence jurors heard to indict Fryer.

    The indictment shows jurors heard the state's timeline of events from the day Fryer was reunited with her Tariji in November to February, when they said Fryer beat the young girl to death before stuffing her body in a suitcase and burying it.

    "The grand jury is designed for the prosecutor to present whatever evidence they want and have the grand jury consider that," said WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.

    Expert testimony came from investigators, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the medical examiner.

    "Thus far, the evidence seems to indicate a pattern of abuse over a period time. The most powerful evidence will be the report of autopsy and the testimony of the medical examiner as to that child abuse," said Sheaffer.

    If convicted on any four of the five charges, Fryer could spend the rest of her life in prison.

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