Carriere Girl Strangled To Death, Mother & Stepfather Under Arrest

Authorities in Pearl River County are investigating the death of a 12-year-old girl and the child's mother and stepfather are under arrest.

Christina Andrews Dillard, 34, and Shawn Dillard, 26, are each charged with one count of felony child abuse in the death of 12-year-old Ashley Andrews.

Chief Deputy Aaron Russell says autopsy reports show the child suffered extreme physical abuse and died after being strangled by hand.

The family lives on North Fort Drive in Carriere north of Picayune. Russell says the girl died Wednesday night after being brought to the emergency room at Crosby Memorial Hospital.

More charges could be filed in this case. A younger boy in the home is now in the custody of the Department of Human Services.