Mattydale (WSYR-TV) -- Additional charges are pending against a man accused in the beating death of a two-year-old from Mattydale. Danielle Cashaw passed away after being taken off life-support on Thursday.
Investigators say she was attacked by her mother’s boyfriend – Sharif Hamilton – on New Year’s Eve.
NewsChannel 9 spoke with neighbors about what they saw and heard the day of the attack.
The horrific abuse that happened is still hard to believe for parents Herbert and Jessica Sandoval who live at Orchard Estates, where Danielle lived with her mother and Hamilton.
“It’s disgusting. Our daughter is 2 and to think that someone could do that to a 2-year-old, they’re innocent and they can’t defend themselves. It’s awful,” Jessica said.
The Sandoval’s watched as police sifted through building 105 on New Year’s Eve, desperately trying to find clues in a beating that ended the life of 2-year-old Danielle.
“As I came home at one, I saw five cop cars still lingering, doing their stuff,” said Herbert.
What neighbors didn’t know is that little Danielle had been brutally attacked, according to police. Her injuries were so severe that she was put on life support until succumbing to her injuries on Thursday.
Investigators say Hamilton gave several different stories about what happened that night, leaving police and neighbors in search of a motive.
Neighbors like Cierra Hurst, who grew up at Orchard Estates, says she never thought something like this would happen in her usually quiet neighborhood.
“You hear about that stuff all the time, being that it’s in my backyard and I have kids myself and you hear about it, but this makes you feel even worse about it,” said Hurst.
But it’s not the first time something like this has happened at the apartment complex. Back in 2011, a 12-year-old boy was brutally beaten at the hands of a man just a few buildings over. The child later recognized his attacker as a man who his mother had been chatting with on Facebook.
“We don’t let our kids go outside without us ever. You can’t. You never know. There are kids that walk to school all the time and we’re right here. The school’s right there and we won’t let him walk. We don’t do it. We can’t trust people,” said Jessica.
Police say Hamilton was babysitting Danielle at the time he allegedly beat her. He’s currently charged with assault, but more charges are likely as investigators await autopsy results. The case will then be presented to a grand jury.