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Girl, 4, weighed 15 pounds at death

From Monika Plocienniczak, CNN
  • Mother faces various charges in child's death
  • Girl, 4, weighed just 15 pounds when she died
  • Autopsy on Marchella Pierce inconclusive

New York (CNN) -- The mother of a 4-year-old girl found dead in her Brooklyn home Thursday morning was charged Friday with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child, according to police.

Marchella Pierce weighed just 15 pounds and had marks on her hands and ankles when police found her unconscious in her family's apartment, according to CNN affiliate WABC-TV.

Her mother, Carlotta Brett-Pierce, was also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal uses of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of marijuana after a small quantity of controlled substance and marijuana were recovered from the apartment, authorities said.

WABC said the girl was hospitalized following her premature birth and nourished with a feeding tube. She came home in February, the station said. The New York Times said detectives were trying to determine whether the girl had been bound to a bed after they found marks on her ankles that appeared consistent with twine that was found tied to the head- and foot-boards of a small bed.

Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office, said that Friday's autopsy was inconclusive and that further investigation was required.