A mentally troubled teenage girl pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the suffocation and stabbing death of 7-year-old Katie Rough in York, England.
The 16-year-old defendant, whose name was withheld because she is a minor, pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility, according to The Guardian.
The teenager had self-inflicted wounds and was openly curious about death and dying, according to court reports.
Katie and the defendant, then 15, were spotted by two witnesses playing in a field in their neighborhood. One witness said they noticed the teenager on top of Katie, but said Katie did not appear in trouble or distressed.
Soon after, another witness spotted the teenager in distress, covered in mud and with a bloody hand. The witness took the girl into his home, where the girl admitted she had killed Katie, leading the man to her body.
Police were called to the scene where they found Katie unresponsive with two severe cuts on her body. She was rushed to a local hospital where she died a short time later.
The autopsy report showed that Katie was cut deeply in both the throat and the abdomen, but neither slash was the cause of her death. Katie had been smothered to death before she was stabbed, reports BBC.
The girl was picked up by police a short time later and handed them a bloody knife involved in the killing. She also admitted to planning to kill Katie for some time before their final interaction.
The defense team for the teenager said she was a troubled girl, pointing out several instances in her past when she exhibited strange behavior towards herself and others.
Police had found drawings in the teen's bedroom showing stick-figures in death scenarios.
The defense claimed the girl believed other people were "robots" and not human, according to The Guardian. The defense said the teenager also thought other people were controlled by "a higher and hostile force," adding that she had been displaying typical signs of post-traumatic stress disorder since December 2015.
It was not immediately clear what might have caused the PTSD.
"Over a course of a year, she developed an interest in the macabre," Crown prosecutor Graham Reeds said. "She lost most of her friendship group at school, started to harm herself with a blade. She was frequently very upset and reported suicidal thoughts.”
The presiding judge accepted the teenager's plea, adding he wanted to see more facts from the case before he decides on sentencing.