Parents Indicted in Girl’s Death
WORCESTER -- The parents of the 6-year-old girl found heavily bruised and unresponsive at the family’s Fitchburg home in April have been indicted in connection with her death.
On Friday, a grand jury indicted Shana Pedroso for murder in connection with the death of her daughter, Sofia Brito, according to a spokesman for District Attorney Joseph D Early Jr.
Her husband, Marvin Brito, 38, was indicted on a charge of manslaughter in connection with his daughter’s death, according to Tim Connolly, Early’s spokesman.
The state Office of The Chief Medical Examiner determined Sofia died of “blunt force injures” and ruled that she died by homicide, according to Connolly.
Friday’s indictments came after Pedroso and Brito were each arraigned in Superior Court on charges of aggravated assault and battery on a child and reckless endangerment of a child in connection with injuries suffered by their 9-year-old son, who is now in the custody of the Department of Children and Families.
Both Pedroso and Brito pleaded not guilty and were held in lieu of $250,000 cash bail on that still-pending case. The two Lowell natives remain in jail.
On April 10, Brito called 911 when his daughter stopped breathing at about noon. First responders arrived at the family home at 139 Stoneybrook Road to find Sofia unresponsive and her brother injured.
Sofia was transported to UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital in Leominster, where she was pronounced dead.
The girl had “extensive bruising of various stages over her entire body,” according to a police report. The boy was taken to an area hospital and had “serious injuries and bruising to his face.”
First responders launched a search for Pedroso after finding the injured children, and located her walking on High Rock Road about 90 minutes later.
According to police, Pedroso possessed a note dated April 9 that indicated the children had been “very bad and beaten.”
The boy told police that his sister woke up the morning of April 10 unable to drink water, according to a police report.
The boy also told police that he and his sister had been attacked by “bullies” the day before and that their parents had left them alone at home.
Pedroso and Brito will be arraigned at a later date, said Connolly.
Fitchburg police and state police detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office investigated the case.