A 32-year-old mother, Khadiyjah Aliyyah Pendergraph, has been charged with murder after her disabled daughter was found dead in a bathtub at their home in Westminster, California. Prosecutors allege that Pendergraph left the girl in the bathtub for several days before her body was discovered by police. Pendergraph made her first court appearance on Tuesday, but did not enter a plea. She is scheduled to return on December 15 to potentially enter a plea to the charge.
The arrest of Pendergraph took place on Friday in a grocery store parking lot in Aliso Viejo, hours after police found her daughter’s decomposing body in the bathtub at their residence. The victim, identified as Victoria, was confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak.
According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman, Kimberly Edds, the girl’s father had arrived to pick her up on Thanksgiving, but found the apartment door locked and received concerning messages from Pendergraph regarding their daughter. He reported her missing to the police on November 24, prompting them to check the home where the tragic discovery was made.
The motive behind the alleged murder and Pendergraph’s presence in Aliso Viejo remain unknown. The specific timeline between the girl’s death and the discovery of her body has not been disclosed.
If convicted, Pendergraph faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison.