Indianapolis mother of 3-year-old beaten to death charged with neglect

Jose Cruz, 20, accused of beating girl

INDIANAPOLIS - The mother of a 3-year-old girl who police said was beat to death by the woman's boyfriend has now been charged with neglect.

Carmen Ellis was found unresponsive and covered in bruises when police were called to the Spanish Oak Apartments on the city's east side last month.

The 3-year-old died the next day at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health.

According to the probable cause, Ellis had soiled herself, prompting her mother's boyfriend, Jose Cruz, 20, to grab her head, shake her and throw her into a TV.

The girl's mother, Samantha Ellis, 23, was also in the apartment with her daughter and infant son at the time police were called, investigators said.

Although she was originally not charged in the death, Ellis was arrested Thursday on a charge of neglect of a dependent.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Ellis told police she knew Cruz had beaten her daughter and other children with a belt and refused to talk about the girl's bruises with family members.

Ellis was being held at the Marion County Jail.

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