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Community Stunned By Death Of Three Year Old

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PHILADELPHIA -

Even police say that the photos of three year old Nathalyz Rivera were some of the most disturbing images they've ever seen. Tonight, her father is being questioned by homicide detectives.

"No one deserves to die like that" says Maritza Rivera.

Emotions are raw for the grandmother of three-year-old Nathalyz Rivera. She gave us a picture of her granddaughter, who she says was blind and severely disabled. Today, police say that the little girl starved to death inside her home on the 7300 block of Sommer Road.

"11 pounds at death, this is one of the worst cases of child abuse I've seen in my five years at the homicide unit. It's very sad and very disturbing," says Captain James Clark.

The West Oak Lane home was so filthy, that homicide investigators wore protective suits and had to use a fire truck ladder to get inside the home. Police say that the girl's father Carlos Rivera found the girl unresponsive around midnight. Police say he called the girl's mother, not 911. The mother came home and brought Nathalyz to Einstein Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. The girl's body was covered in what police believe were insect or rodent bites.

"Even with all her severe disabilities she had, they have not seen any type of medical personnel or doctor in well over a year," says Captain Clark.

The family says all five children, including the girl's twin brother, were in the father's care. They've all been placed in protective custody.

"I didn't bring my daughter up to be like that. I don't know why she did that or he did that. She was on the street. He was the one taking care of them," says Maritza Rivera.

Neighbors say that they rarely saw the family because the windows were covered in pink princess beach blankets. Many are stunned to find out what, police say, was going on inside.

"If they didn't want the baby they should have given the baby to someone else. That baby didn't have to suffer," says Betty Enoch, a neighbor.

"Justice needs to be served. If they did something wrong, they do the time," says Maritza Rivera.

We've learned that social workers with DHS were involved with this family's other children five years ago. Right now, the girl's mother and father are still being interviewed by homicide detectives. Police tell FOX 29 that charges could be filed as early as tonight.

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