First Alert Weather Alert: Flood Warning expires at 8:00 PM on 4/28, issued at 10:03 AM Bryceville, FL | Callahan, FL | Fernandina Beach, FL | Glen Saint Mary, FL

Vigil held after police recover missing 2-year-old's body

Set Text Size SmallSet Text Size MediumSet Text Size LargeSet Text Size X-Large
Share
Updated: 2/12 8:40 am
SANFORD, Fla. (WFTV) -- Relatives and family friends held a candlelight vigil in Sanford Tuesday night for a 2-year-old girl whose body was found buried in shallow grave in Putnam County.

“That was my goddaughter, of course it saddens me that she’s no longer here,” Aja Lytle said.

Lytle is the sister-in-law of the child's mother, Rachel Fryer. Investigators said 32-year-old Fryer admitted she stuffed the girl's body in a suitcase and buried it in Crescent City. The toddler was found behind a vacant home on a dead-end road.

Fryer has been charged with aggravated child neglect and is being held on a nearly $1 million bond.

According to an arrest warrant, the little girl, Tariji Gordon, stopped breathing on Thursday and instead of calling 911, Fryer attempted CPR. The arrest warrant said 30 minutes later, the toddler was dead.

Fryer’s arrest papers said she turned herself in at the Sanford police station on Monday with a bag packed for jail and told detectives she made a deadly mistake.

At the vigil, family members said Fryer suffers from depression and they think she panicked.

"All she was thinking was they're going to take my kids, I just got my kids back," Lytle said. "She fought 2 years to get her kids back."

Officials with the Department of Children and Families held a press conference Tuesday to discuss their involvement with Fryer and her family.

The agency revealed Fryer’s children were taken away from her in 2011 after another one of her children died.

“The Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the infant’s death was attributed to positional asphyxiation, more commonly known as a co-sleeping death. We know that no charges were filed,” DCF spokeswoman Carrie Proudfit said.

Proudfit said at the time there were child neglect concerns and that led the agency to place the children in foster care.

The children were reunited with Fryer in late 2013 after she completed the necessary classes and court requirements, Proudfit said.

Tuesday afternoon, a judge was forced to set a bond for Fryer because she’s only facing a child neglect charge.

“At this time I am going to set a bond, OK? However, I will set bond at $950,000,” the judge said.

One of the suspect’s surviving children told investigators the 2-year-old was abused. According to the arrest warrant, Fryer’s oldest daughter said her mom hit Tariji with a broom, a mop and a stick because the toddler misbehaved.

The St. John's County medical examiner will perform an autopsy on the little girl.
Share
2 Comment(s)
Comments: Show | Hide

Here are the most recent story comments.View All

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

coliebug 85 - 2/14/2014 11:02 PM
0 Votes
It's sick that a parent could treat their children like they are nothing.That little two year old girl lost her life because her sorry ass mother didn't want to take care of her.DCF y'all need to get some workers that are gonna do what needs to be done.DCF could have checked on the child more and listen to what her older sister had to say about their mom beating the little ANGEL because she missed behaved.She was two for goodness sake it's not like she wad twelve and knew to behave.The MOM should have called for help not stuff her in a suitcase and put her in a shallow grave and except nobody to her.DCF AND THE MOM AND ALSO WHOEVER ELSE WAS INVOLVED WITH NEED TO ROT IN A PRISON CELL OR MAYBE STUFFED IN A SUITCASE AND BE FORGOTTEN ABOUT.I HAVE FAITH THAT NOW THIS LITTLE TWO YEAR OLD GIRL CAN BE PLACED IN A DECENT GRAVE AND HAVE HER NAME AND FLOWERS THERE FOR HER.MAY THIS LITTLE ANGEL CALL HEAVEN HOME.AND NOW SHE WILL NO LONGER SUFFER THE WAY SHE DID ON EARTH.REST IN PEACE LITTLE ANGEL NO MORE HURTING.ENJOY LIFE UP THERE WITH ALL THE OTHER ANGLES AND WATCH THE REST OF YOUR SIBLINGS AND KEEP THEM SAFE;)

king kaos - 2/11/2014 11:43 AM
2 Votes
Poor little angel, you are sadly in a better place I am sure. No more evil coming from the demon know as "mother". Rest in peace little one, be happy and content with the rest of the angels. So sad, should have been stopped, another bang up job by DCF! Is Angela Cory in charge of them or something? Its run about as good as her department is! Stupid DCF SCUM, stupid ignorant jerk cancer scum thing that didnt want kids but kept having them anyway. YOU DONT DESERVE TO LIVE IF YOU NEGLECT YOUR CHILDREN "MOTHERS". there is nothing more disgusting(well kid touchers of course but that goes without saying but only by a VERY LITTLE! both will be treated the same when standing in front of thier judges on the day of reconing).
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.
Mobile advertising for this site is available on Local Ad Buy.