Authorities in California said a 2-year-old girl was abused and tortured by her aunt for months before the child died.
The aunt, Wendy Guadalupe Gomez, 20, of Bakersfield, is being held in the Kern County Jail on $1.5 million bail on charges of second-degree murder, torture and willful cruelty to a child in the death of Karla Isidro.
The injuries the child sustained were inflicted "with the intent to cause cruel or extreme pain and suffering, and for the purpose of revenge, extortion, persuasion, or for any sadistic purpose," according to court documents obtained by Bakersfieldnow.com.
Gomez, the sister of the child's mother, was also the girl's foster mother. The child had been placed in her care in June, police said.
The Kern County District Attorney's office said authorities were called to the 3300 block of Chester Lane on Friday to check on the welfare of the child. Upon arrival at the scene, police discovered the child was dead. They also noted the girl had "obvious trauma to her lower extremities," Turnto23.com reported.
According to Bakersfieldcalifornian.com, a Monday autopsy failed to reveal a cause and manner of death. The results of toxicology tests are pending, police said.
Court documents allege Karla Isidro was tortured and subjected to extreme pain and suffering in the weeks leading up to her death.
Gomez, "assaulted [the child] in several ways and several times, including shaking her violently," according to the court documents.
Prior to death, an injury to the child allegedly resulted in "swelling to the head" and uncontrollable vomiting. Gomez, police said, refused to take the child to the hospital for medical treatment.
Police have yet to comment on what evidence or information they have obtained to substantiate the allegations against Gomez.
On Tuesday, Gomez entered a plea of not guilty before Kern County Superior Court Judge Colette M. Humphrey. Gomez is scheduled to appear in court for her preliminary hearing on Oct. 4. If convicted on all charges, she could receive a life sentence.