Abuse Death of 2-Year-Old Girl in Far Rockaway Ruled a Homicide, City Says

By Aidan Gardiner on June 17, 2014 2:46pm 

 Kevasia Edwards, 2, was found dead with bruises around her mouth on Feb. 3, police said.
Kevasia Edwards, 2, was found dead with bruises around her mouth on Feb. 3, police said.
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DNAinfo/Gustavo Solis

QUEENS — The Far Rockaway toddler found beaten to death in her apartment in February was ruled the victim of a homicide by the city's medical examiner's office Tuesday — more than four months after she died.

Kevasia Edwards suffered blunt force trauma to her head, bleeding on the brain and battered child syndrome at the hand of her mother, Ashley Diaz, 28, inside their Beach 56th Street home, near Rockaway Beach Boulevard, prosecutors and the Medical Examiner said.

Kevasia's battered body was found inside her family's bathroom with broken ribs and bruising around her mouth on Feb. 3, police said. She was taken to St. John's Episcopal Hospital and pronounced dead, police said.

Diaz, 28, was charged Feb. 6 with murder and assault. She is currently being held without bail at Rikers Island and is due back in court on June 30.

Kevasia's ribs appeared to have been broken several times before the fatal attack, sources said.

Diaz had also been the subject of multiple investigations by the Administration for Children's Services, including once in 2011 and three more in 2012, sources said.

The death came a month after 4-year-old Myls Dobson was beaten to death by his babysitter after his father was sent to jail. Myls had also been the subject of ACS investigation, after his mother was found to be abusing him and his father was in and out of prison.

The two deaths prompted Mayor Bill de Blasio to call for an extensive review of ACS investigations.

"I cannot accept the death of any child and we have to make sure we are doing everything possible to protect our children," the mayor said following Kevasia's death.

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