Mom suspected of killing 3-year-old daughter in Highgrove pleads not guilty

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A woman suspected of beating her 3-year-old daughter to death pleaded not guilty during her arraignment Tuesday. (KABC)

A woman suspected of beating her 3-year-old daughter to death pleaded not guilty during her arraignment Tuesday.

Susan Marie Rank, 30, faces one charge of murder that carries a sentence-enhancing allegation of using a deadly weapon in commission of a felony. She is accused of killing her daughter, who family members identified as Zayla.

On Jan. 26, authorities received a call at a sober living group home in Highgrove and discovered the little girl's body outside the residence. Everyone in the home was detained, including the primary suspect.

During an interview with ABC7, Rank's relatives said she was born with a brain tumor and suffered from a mental illness. The child's grandmother and great aunt said they believe Rank was responsible for Zayla's death.

Rank's family members said she and her daughter were living in the sober living facility associated with the group Set Free Ministries. Rank's mother, Lori Wood, said she tried hard to get her daughter some help.

Rank remains in custody at $1 million bail. Her next court date is scheduled for March 16.
Related Topics:
child deathmurderbeating deathchild abusecourtRiversideRiverside County
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