At just 20 months old, Dakota Burke-Everett was admitted to the hospital on New Year’s Eve for severe trauma and burns to her body. On Jan. 8, the toddler from Mobile, Alabama, died from her injuries.
Now Dakota’s mother, Summer Everett, 22, and her new husband, Christopher Knapp, 24, have been charged with murder and aggravated child abuse.
Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran told Fox 10 that Dakota had been severely abused before she was beaten into unconciousness and hospitalized.
“Detectives have said they’ve never seen a child endure so many continuing injuries leading up prior to the injury that resulted in the death,” Cochran said.
Cochran did not say which injury caused Dakota’s death or what exactly led detectives to arrest the couple.
“That will all play out here in court,” he said. "I think it’s very substantial evidence. Certainly it will sustain the charges that we have against them."
Knapp and Everett married on Jan. 12, just four days after Dakota died.
“They seem to be pretty emotionless,” Cochran said.
Though the couple did not say anything to reporters, Everett wept as she was led into custody.
Dakota will be laid to rest on Saturday.