New Details in Girl’s Death as Adoptive Mom Stays Behind Bars

New details are emerging surrounding the death of a 7-year-old girl in Miami-Dade last year, following the arrest last week of her adoptive mother on child abuse and child neglect charges.

Gina Emmanuel, a registered nurse, was arrested on Oct. 15 on multiple counts of aggravated child abuse causing great bodily harm and child neglect causing great bodily harm, according to an arrest report.

The report said the 50-year-old Emmanuel is accused of using belts, a brush, a back scratcher and other objects to physically abuse three young girls, who she began fostering in 2014. Emmanuel, who adopted the kids – ages 6, 7 and 12 – along with their 4-year-old brother in 2017, allegedly tied the kids’ hands and bodies to furniture, tied socks around their eyes and burned their hands and fingers on the stove as punishment for when they wet the bed.

The report said the investigation into Emmanuel began when the 7-year-old died on Nov. 3, 2018. She had been found unresponsive at their Miami-Dade home and pronounced dead at the hospital hours later.

According to a new document from the Department of Children and Families, the girl had been in the care of a babysitter when she became unresponsive, and had been sick with a cold for several days. The girl’s symptoms eventually progressed into pneumonia and sepsis, the arrest report said.

While investigating the girl’s death, homicide investigators found suspicious injuries on her body, the report said. When the other two girls were examined, they were found to have “numerous old injuries all over their bodies including healed loop marks from beatings and healed burn scars on their hands and fingers,” the report said.

Emmanuel was accused of not seeking medical care for the kids, which ultimately led to the 7-year-old’s death, the report said.

DCF officials said the girl’s siblings have been safe in their custody since the death investigation began.

“The allegations of abuse and neglect that contributed to this child’s death are horrifying and the pain endured is unimaginable,” DCF Secretary Chad Poppell said in a statement. “I am proud of our law enforcement partners for actively pursuing this case and bringing justice for these children.”

Records showed that before the 7-year-old was adopted in 2017, she was already the subject of two DCF reports from 2014.

Emmanuel remained behind bars Wednesday on $122,500 bond, jail records showed. NBC 6 tried to reach the public defender’s office which represents her, but did not hear back. Miami-Dade Police said Emmanuel could face further charges related to the girl’s death.

Meanwhile, neighbors who witnessed the events at Emmanuel’s home last year said they’re still in disbelief.

“A year ago very terrible. So many cops and rescue and I saw the body coming,” neighbor Alba Guevara told NBC 6 Wednesday.