SANTA ANA (CNS) - A 32-year-old Westminster woman was charged with murder Tuesday for allegedly drowning her disabled 9-year-old daughter in a bathtub.
Khadiyjah Aliyyah Pendergraph was charged with one count of murder and was scheduled to be arraigned sometime Tuesday afternoon in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana.
Officers were dispatched at about noon Friday to a residence in the 14100 block of Goldenwest Street for a welfare check on the girl following a "tip from a concerned family member," police reported. Officers forced their way into the empty home and found the body of the girl with "obvious signs of trauma," police said.
Pendergraph was initially a "person of interest," and was found and arrested at a shopping center in Aliso Viejo, police said.
The Orange County District Attorney's Office said the victim -- Victoria -- was a wheelchair user who was non-verbal and alleged the mother drowned her in a bathtub. The criminal complaint alleges Victoria was killed on Nov. 19.
The girl's father called police Friday to report her missing and request a welfare check on his daughter after he received "concerning messages" from his ex-wife, prosecutors alleged.
When the father attempted to pick up his daughter on Thanksgiving, the apartment where she lived with her mother was locked and no one answered, prosecutors said.