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Mother Charged with Murder in Heartbreaking Case

In a shocking and heartbreaking turn of events, a woman from Fountain Valley has been charged with murder in the tragic death of her 9-year-old nonverbal daughter who used a wheelchair. The young girl was found drowned in a bathtub, her body left to decompose for several days. This chilling incident has left a community in mourning and has raised serious questions about the circumstances surrounding the girl's untimely demise.

The Arrest and Discovery

Khadiyjah Aliyyah Pendergraph, a 32-year-old mother, was apprehended last Friday at a grocery store in Aliso Viejo, California. The same day, the lifeless body of her daughter was discovered. The girl's father, who was divorced from Pendergraph, had grown concerned after receiving troubling messages from his ex-wife. When he attempted to pick up his daughter for Thanksgiving, he found the apartment locked, with no response at the door.

The Horrifying Details

On Tuesday, the Orange County District Attorney's Office released chilling details about the young girl's death. It was alleged that she had been drowned in her own bathtub and left there for days, allowing her body to decompose. Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer expressed the profound tragedy of the situation, stating, "While families across America sat down to Thanksgiving dinner with their loved ones, this little disabled girl's lifeless body was left to rot in a bathtub after being drowned by her own mother. Words simply do not exist to express the utter heartbreak knowing this little girl could not even scream for help as her mother pushed her underwater and cut her life so tragically and so unnecessarily short."

False Claims and Legal Consequences

In an unsettling twist, Pendergraph has attempted to portray her daughter as suicidal, alleging that the child had made multiple suicide attempts. However, these claims are being met with skepticism given the horrific nature of the crime. Khadiyjah Aliyyah Pendergraph now faces a charge of murder, with the possibility of a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

The Investigation and Arrest

The investigation into this devastating case began when officers responded to a welfare check request at the home on the 14100 Block of Goldenwest Street around 12:04 p.m. A concerned family member had contacted the Westminster Police Department, prompting officers to forcibly enter the residence, where they discovered the young girl with "obvious signs of trauma." There was no one else inside the home at the time. Khadiyjah Pendergraph was identified as a person of interest and was located at a shopping center in Aliso Viejo, where she was taken into custody and subsequently booked at the Orange County Jail on murder charges.

This heart-wrenching incident serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerability of some of the most innocent members of our society and the responsibility we all share in ensuring their safety and well-being. As the legal proceedings unfold, our hearts go out to the family and friends of the young girl who lost her life in such a senseless and tragic manner.


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