A Florida mother whose daughter was found dead in a padlocked freezer was sentenced to 65 years in prison on Wednesday.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, 33-year-old Keishanna Thomas pleaded no contest to charges of second-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and abuse of a dead body.
In October 2015, the body of 11-year-old Janiya Thomas was found after her mother delivered a freezer to a relative’s house. After the unnamed relatives heard Janiya was missing, they opened the padlocked freezer and discovered the child’s body.
Thomas’s indictment says the 33-year-old killed Janiya through a combination of starving, asphyxiation and drowning.
Based on a state report, child protective services investigators did not properly handle the amount of violence and abuse endured by Janiya at home.
Janiya’s cousin told investigators that Janiya had a medical condition that caused her to lose control of her bladder and bowels and her mother, who liked to keep the house clean, was very upset by this condition.
Investigators were told that Janiya was once placed in water that contained a high amount of bleach, causing her skin to turn red. Janiya’s siblings also told investigators that their mother would lock the 11-year-old in the bathroom day and night and had blocked the door with a large trunk to prevent her from leaving.
In December 2014, neighbors saw the then-10-year-old Janiya going through the garbage in the apartment complex cans. The girl told the neighbor that she was looking for food for her and her siblings.
During several court hearings, Thomas refused to talk about the girl's whereabouts.