ROCKDALE, Texas -- Tucked away behind the trees in Rockdale, Texas is a normally quiet neighborhood, but the peace has been shattered.
It shocked me. It really did, said Lois Rash, who lives in Rockdale.
It's a shame. Never should have happened, added neighbor Larry McAdams.
Their neighbor, 54-year-old Sherill Small is now charged with the murder of her foster daughter Alexandria Hill, better known as Alex.
Monday night, police, fire and EMScrews were called out to the Small home. Small, who was the only person home at the time, called and said the two-year-old wasn't breathing.
Alex was taken to the hospital, then airlifted to the children's hospital in Temple. Alex's biological parents rushed to her side.
When I got there, it was about 1:00 in the morning and I found out that Alex was in a coma, said her father Joshua Hill.
Wednesday night Hill and Alex's mother decided to take her off life support.
There's not words to describe trying to make that decision, said Hill.
Back in Rockdale, police say Small's story about what happened kept changing.
Originally, Mrs. Small reported that the child was running backwards and had fallen and this is how she had received the injuries. Later, it changed to kind of we were playing ring-around-the-rosy and I was swinging her and she fell, said Rockdale Police Chief Thomas Harris. And at some point somebody had gotten information that she was supposed to have been riding a bicycle and fallen off.
Chief Harris said things just didn't add up.
I mean a two year old child doesn't run backwards and fall hard enough to get this type of an injury, explained Harris.
Doctors say Alex had hemorrhaging in her brain and eyes. An autopsy shows she had blunt force trauma to the head.
Harris says Thursday morning, Small finally told them the truth.
She had evidently been frustrated with the child all day long. She had... the child... had evidently gotten up before the Small's did and she had went and got into some food and some water, said Harris. That is what Mrs. Small was initially upset with her about.... had made her stand in a dark room, according to our reports, for at least three-to-four hours, wouldn't let her sit or anything.
Then around 7:00 that night, the young child, so full of life, was knocked unconscious.
She actually admitted that she had slung the child down on the floor, said Harris.
Small told investigators she raised the toddler over her head and slung her down toward the floor twice.
On the third time down she said she lost her grip and dropped the child. Slammed the child down on the floor, explained Harris.
Harris says Small's husband, who wasn't home when the incident happened, became emotional and even cried when talking to police. But not Small.
I did not see a whole lot of remorse. I think it's more like a lot of times these people's, they're sorry that they're in trouble. This is the sense that I get. It's still about them, it's not really remorse about the child. I never got that feeling, added Harris.
The Small's had another foster child who is eight-months-old. That child has been removed.
Police say neither Small or her husband had jobs, but were instead planning to foster between five and six children as a source of income.
Small is in the Milam County Jail. Her bond has been set at $100,000.