A seven-year-old girl has been allegedly hit in the head with a weight and suffocated with a plastic bag by her dad in a ‘ murder -suicide’.
Jeffrey Mancuso, 45, left a chilling note on daughter Kayden Mancuso’s body after killing her, according to devastated family members.
It said the youngster’s mum and stepdad had ‘got what they deserved’.
Kayden was reportedly found dead in the living room of Mancuso’s home in Philadelphia, US, by stepfather Brian Sherlock on Monday.
Her biological father – whose past incidents of violence include biting people’s ears off- lay dead in an upstairs bedroom.
His cause of death is yet to be released.
Relatives told The Philadelphia Inquirer that a medic said ‘vibrant, outgoing and loving’ Kayden had died after being hit in the head with a weight.
The youngster’s mum Kathryn had repeatedly made attempts to stop Mancuso seeing her, while court records showed the girl had said she ‘didn’t feel safe with her dad’.”
The parents had fought in a custody battle but despite Mancuso’s history of violence which includes multiple charges of assault, he was given visitation rights, the Daily Mail reports.
A judge said she had no strong dislike of her father, was not scared of him and wasn’t being physically abused by him.
On Sunday night, Kayden was not returned home to her mum, stepdad and two half-brothers as agreed.
But police reportedly said they could not act when relatives began to worry, as Kayden was with her father.
When Brian went to Mancuso’s home on Monday with her grandfather, they found her dead inside.
According to court documents, seen by US media, Kayden saw Mancuso punching his dog and then himself in the face.
He had previously been diagnosed by a psychologist with major depressive disorder, anxious disorder, with narcissistic and antisocial personality traits.
Mancuso was also said to be suicidal.
He had been banned from his daughter’s school as his manner towards teachers was said to be aggressive and belittling.
Her family claim the system failed them after a judge ‘wouldn’t listen to their concerns’.
Kayden’s aunt Heather Giglio said: "They failed our beautiful baby girl.
"They failed my sister, they failed my family and they failed a community."
She also described how Mancuso had left the note on Kayden’s body, saying the family ‘got what we deserved’.
A Gofundme page set up to help with funeral expenses says: "Kayden was murdered by her biological father.
"Kayden’s mother trusted that the law and the court system would work for her daughter’s best interests.
"However, the system failed and she was taken too soon. "
It adds: "Nothing can bring back this vibrant, outgoing, loving child."
The tribute tells how she excelled in softball, soccer, gymnastics and basketball.
"She was taken too soon and will never have the chance to lead the life she was meant to live," the page says.
"No mother should have to bury her 7-year old daughter under these circumstances."
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