MARIES COUNTY, Mo. – The mother of a 14-year-old girl who died in a house fire in Maries County on March 17 is now facing multiple charges.
Tracy Ellis, 43, is charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child and second-degree murder.
When officials arrived on the scene, a man said his handicapped sister was still inside the burning residence. Officials tried to call out for his sister, but did not receive a response.
According to a press release sent by the Maries County Sheriff’s Office, a bookcase and dresser were against the window. The release said “any attempt was fruitless” in trying to rescue the girl, “due to the obstruction created from the furniture, heat, and smoke.”
The bed the 14-year-old was in had a front gate with wooden boards attached to it. This wooden gate was only accessible from the outside of the bed, the release said. This prevented the girl from getting out.
The wooden boards and gate had to be removed to retrieve the 14-year-old. They are currently being held as evidence.
When officials conducted interviews on the scene, they discovered Ellis left the house, “knowingly leaving… unattended for several hours.”
Police said when Ellis talked about her daughter’s condition, she said her daughter could not walk, speak or feed herself. She had to be fed pureed food.
According to the release, the girl’s condition prevented her from caring for herself, therefore she could not escape from the house when it caught on fire.
The autopsy concluded that soot from the fire was in her trachea. It also noted the girl’s diaper “contained excessive amounts of urine and feces.”
In 2017 the Department of Family Services investigated Ellis for lack of supervision and Ellis had previously received a traffic fine for “failure to secure a person under 16 years of age.”
Ellis is being held in the Maries County Jail.
You can read the original story here.