Man pleads guilty to killing girlfriend's daughter on Christmas Eve

Man pleads guilty to killing girlfriend's daughter on Christmas Eve
Heath (Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department)
Heath (Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department)
4-year-old Mariya Owens (Photo courtesy family)
4-year-old Mariya Owens (Photo courtesy family)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A man accused of killing of his girlfriend's 4-year-old daughter in December 2016 pleaded guilty Thursday.

Demarcus Heath was charged with killing his girlfriend's 4-year-old daughter on Christmas Eve, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say.

Officers were called to the 7800 block of Timber Commons Lane around 9:29 p.m. Dec. 24 for an unresponsive child. Medic arrived and took the girl, later identified as 4-year-old Mariya Owens, to Novant Health Matthews Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

"As a result of the investigation, and in consultation with the Medical Examiner's Office, detectives determined that the victim was physically assaulted, which led to her death," CMPD said.

It's standard policy for the Department of Social Services to get involved after the death of a child. It's unclear if DSS may have had a prior history with Mariya's family.

RELATED: Family says 4-year-old's death could have been prevented

Anyone with additional information about the case is asked to call detectives at 704-432-TIPS.

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