Woman charged with 4-year-old girl’s murder

PHILADELPHIA — The woman who was supposed to be watching a four-year-old girl was instead arrested and charged with her murder.

The District Attorney’s Office reports Philadelphia police were called on the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 30. It said Zya Singleton was in the care of Samilya Brown at the time.

“Brown falsely stated that Zya had fallen out of a second floor bedroom window after playing with a cat. Medical examination of the child … however, found inconsistencies with Brown’s account.”

Four days later, on Nov. 3, Zya was pronounced dead.

That’s when

“The Office of the Medical Examiner found additional evidence of abuse, including bite marks, open wounds to her face and scalp, cigarette and other larger burns to her left arm and thigh, puncture wounds, and signs of malnourishment.

“In addition, evidence was found that Zya’s injuries had been treated with homemade stitches, which might have contributed to severe infection on the wound sites.”

On Nov. 12, Brown, 38 of Fairmount, was charged with murder, endangering the welfare of a child and related charges.

Suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect can be reported to

  • Philadelphia police at 215–686–TIPS (8477),
  • the District Attorney’s Office at 215–686–9608,
  • the Philadelphia Department of Human Services at 215–683–6100 or
  • Pennsylvania ChildLine at 800–932–0313.


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