Indianapolis woman arrested in young daughter's death

Brittney Massey

An Indianapolis mother is charged in the murder of her two-year-old daughter after telling police she held the child face down on her bed because she was tired of hearing her cry.

Brittney Massey, 23, faces multiple charges including murder, battery resulting in death and neglect of a dependent resulting in death. She told police she beat her daughter over a potty training accident.

The girl, whose name was Destinee Massey, was taken to Riley Hospital last Wednesday morning. Doctors determined she died from multiple blunt force traumas to the head and other parts of her body. The autopsy also showed signs of a lack of oxygen to her brain consistent with strangulation or suffocation.

According to the probable cause affidavit, the girl had numerous bruises all over her body, including her neck, forehead, chin, back, inner thighs, rib cage, left calf and knee, right ear and the backs of her legs. The report says some of the injuries appeared to be older based on the coloring.

Court documents also say there were human bite marks on the girl's arm, inner thigh and on several of her fingers. Some of her injuries were "looped" marks consistent with being hit by a belt or cord.

The girl's stepfather, who does not face any charges, is distraught. He is trying to figure out how to regain custody of his own six-month-old girl taken by Child Protective Services as a part of this investigation.

It happened in a west side home near Washington and Tibbs. According to court documents, Massey said she was in the midst of potty training Destinee. The girl had an accident and started crying. In order to stop the crying, Massey admitted to placing the toddler in a bed face down and holding her hand on the back of Destinee's head until the crying stopped because she was tired of hearing the girl cry.

Massey told police she was alone with her three young children on the night of Tuesday, Nov. 26th. She said she put Destinee to put around 9:30 pm. When Massey's husband came home from work around 12:30 am, he noticed Destinee groaning and gasping with saliva bubbling from her mouth. Her head was limp and her eyes were closed, according to Massey. Her husband, who is the children's stepfather, wanted to take the girl to the hospital but Brittney Massey did not want to. They gave Destinee some water, wrapped her in a blanket and put her to bed, according to court documents.

The next morning, Destinee was still having breathing problems and remained unresponsive. Massey's husband insisted on going to the hospital. Massey changed Destinee's clothes because of the saliva on them, and they drove to Riley Hospital in their own car. Destinee died at the hospital.

"Never heard yelling, screaming, fighting, nothing. When I found out what happened, when he come told me exactly what happened, I was just taken back. I couldn't believe that she did that to that baby," said Tracy Lynn, a neighbor.

As a result of the investigation, Massey's other children, two girls ages three and six months, were placed into the care of Child Protective Services.

Massey was arrested November 29th. She's currently being held in the Marion County Jail.

"I can see her taking the rap for it, but I can also not understand why she's the only one in jail right now," said Lynn.@"Because it's obvious, if she had all the bruises that day, they didn't just pop up that day."

"There have not been charges filed against him at this point in time," explained Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Kristina Korobov.@"He's not the child's biological father and, in fact, at this point, at least what we know, is that he is the one that insisted on the child being brought to the hospital."

Massey's husband is the biological father of the six-month-old girl. He is currently trying to regain custody of her.