Police said this week that although they believe 10-year-old Charlenni Ferreira was sexually abused before she died in October, preliminary DNA tests have not provided any substantial evidence linking any such abuse assault to a possible suspect.
"I don't anticipate there's going to be any sexual-assault charges," Police Homicide Lt. Philip Riehl said yesterday.
Riehl said that, based on the preliminary report, the DNA sample taken from the victim might not be significant enough to lead to an identification.
Charlenni died from years of abuse inflicted by her father and stepmother, according to authorities. A preliminary report indicated that, among other things, she had been sexually assaulted shortly before her death.
Three men in the Feltonville home where she lived - her father and two teen stepbrothers - were questioned in connection with the investigation.
All gave DNA samples, Riehl said.
Charlenni, a fifth grader at Feltonville Intermediate School, was found unconscious at home on Oct. 21. She was pronounced dead after being rushed to St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.
Her father, Domingo "Anibal" Ferreira, 53, and stepmother, Margarita Garabito, 42, were charged with murder, conspiracy, endangering the welfare of a child, and several related offenses. Four days later, Domingo Ferreira hanged himself in his cell at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility.
According to authorities, Charlenni died of a lung infection caused by untreated broken ribs.
A medical examiner's report pointed to a history of abuse, citing several old and new injuries, including head trauma, an open eight-inch head wound, bruises on her back, legs, and torso, broken bones, a fractured hip that caused her to walk with a pronounced limp, and injuries to her vaginal and anal areas.
"This was about as ugly [a case] as I've ever seen," said Riehl, who said he had been involved in more than 900 homicide investigations.
"You wonder if the kid ever had a good day."
Garabito faces a preliminary hearing in the case next month.