HALTOM CITY, Texas – A 3-year-old who was the youngest of three severely burned sisters died Tuesday, and police said her mother, accused of setting the girls on fire, will be charged with capital murder.
The 3-year-old, whose name was not released by police, died after being taken off life support, Haltom City police said. Her two older sisters, ages 5 and 7, remained hospitalized in Dallas, but their conditions were not being released.
Authorities said their mother, Alysha V. Green, put her daughters in a closet, poured gasoline on them and set them on fire Saturday. The 29-year-old already has been charged with serious bodily injury to a child, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Green, who also was burned, remained hospitalized Tuesday. Her condition was also not being released, and police said they did not know whether she had an attorney.
Neighbors — who rescued the girls, sprayed them with a water hose and covered them with wet towels — said the 7-year-old stood in the yard screaming, "Why, mommy?" Neighbors said that the youngest was the most severely burned but that the older girls suffered severe burns on their lower bodies.
The girls could be heard screaming as one neighbor called 911, according to recordings released by Haltom City police.
"There's little girls, and they're burning," the caller told the operator. "You gotta hurry."
Neighbor Greg Donihoo, who rescued the two oldest girls from the smoke-filled house in the Fort Worth suburb, said he had seen Green kick and scream at the youngsters.
Although Haltom City police had not been called to the home for criminal matters, Child Protective Services investigated a complaint in May that the girls had witnessed domestic violence between their parents. But that claim could not be substantiated, and the girls remained in their parents' custody, said agency spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales.