CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A 4-year-old girl who was killed on Christmas Eve died from blunt force injuries, according to an autopsy report released Friday.
Mariya Owens was found unresponsive in her mother's apartment and was rushed to the hospital. She died a short time later.
Mariya died from severe blunt force abdominal injuries, the autopsy report states. The girl also suffered blunt force head injuries.
Investigators ordered an autopsy to confirm a report that she choked on a toy. However, the exam report states there was no "airway obstruction identified."
The autopsy did reveal Mariya's life came to a violent end. Her injuries include separated spine, a torn aorta and laceration to her liver.
Demarcus Heath, the boyfriend of the child’s mother, was charged with the murder of Owens.
Investigators say Mariya's mother's boyfriend, Demarcus Heath, gave them the toy choking story, then tried to pin the child's death on her mother before finally admitting to them he was behind brutal assault that killed the little girl.
He is being held in the Mecklenburg County Jail without bail, charged with murder.
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