- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A 48-year-old woman who split her stepdaughter’s head open and tried to cover it by affixing hair extensions to her head was sentenced Friday to life in prison in the 10-year-old’s death.

Margarita Garabito began abusing her stepdaughter, Charlenni Ferreira, in 2006 when the girl was just 6 after she moved to Philadelphia from Puerto Rico to live with her father, Garabito and her three sons, authorities said.

In the ensuing years, Ferreira endured “extreme torture” at the hands of Garabito, who split her head open and “beat every inch of her body,” prosecutors said. Ferreira died in 2009, nine days before she turned 11, from a buildup of bacterial fluid inside her chest as a result of her ribs being consistently broken without treatment.

When the girl died, she was found with a gaping wound on her head that went down to her skull, prosecutors said. Garabito tried to cover it up with cotton gauze and put hair extensions on her head that were affixed with hair clips embedded into her scalp like staples.

Garabito also allowed her son to rape the girl, prosecutors said. When Garabito was arrested, she initially blamed Ferreira’s father, who was also arrested but hung himself in prison.

She was convicted Friday and sentenced to life in prison.

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