Piedmont County sheriff's investigators arrested a 23-year-old mother accused of killing her 4-year-old daughter.
Latoya Scott was arrested Wednesday evening on second-degree murder charges and taken to the Piedmont County Jail.
Detectives responded to the home when they received a 911 call from the mother's roommate in regard to an unresponsive child, identified as Nakia Roberts.
According to an arrest affidavit, Scott said she was perming her daughter's hair when she received a phone call that took her attention away from her daughter's hair for more than an hour. Scott said her daughter began screaming as she realized the chemicals had not been rinsed out, according to the affidavit.
Scott said she rushed to her daughter to the bathroom in an attempt to sooth the pain and rinse out the perm as chunks of hair and burnt flesh fell from her daughter's head.
On Monday, an autopsy ruled that the girl's death was as a result of severe chemical burns to the scalp.
Scott's roommate, Juanita, called 911 Saturday morning when she saw the girl had passed out from the pain.
“I asked her a few times before she put perm in if it was safe to use on a child that young, it just didn't seem appropriate.”
Scott later told authorities she found her daughter's thick coarse hair difficult to deal with and thought the perm would lighten the maintenance.
Nakia was taken to hospital, where she died at 6 p.m., according to the report.
Detectives said the mother openly admitted to leaving the child alone for too long while the perm was still in.
"I shouldn't have allowed myself to be so distracted for so long" said Latoya.
Detectives believe this may have been a pattern of neglect and abuse.
"At the time of death, Ms. Scott was heavily intoxicated, and we found bruises on the two year old consistent with abuse." said homicide detective Thomas DeGrange, of the Piedmont County Sheriff's Office.
"I felt like she loved her, I mean, maybe some things she didn't know how to deal with, but I felt like she loved her kids," said Juanita.
Scott is currently being held without bond.