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4-Year-Old Suffocated, Suspect Held

September 10, 1986

BOSTON (AP) _ A 4-year-old girl was found suffocated Wednesday and a man who was a friend of her mother was held in the slaying, police said.

The man, Joseph Freeman, suffered cuts on his face when he became violent with the victim’s relatives and neighbors who were holding him for police, authorities said.

Tacara Christian of the city’s Dorchester section was found dead in her room with burns on her chest, said police spokeswoman Jane Sheehan.

A medical examiner ruled that the girl died of asphyxiation due to smothering.

Homicide detectives would seek a murder warrant against Freeman, 24, on Thursday, Ms. Sheehan said.

Freeman had been living with the girl’s family for about a week, Ms. Sheehan said. Police spokesman John Gillespie said Freeman was apparently an ″on-and-off boyfriend″ of the girl’s mother, Chyrel Christian.

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