A Westminster woman was arrested Friday on suspicion of killing her 9-year-old daughter, police said.

Officers were called to a home in the 14100 block of Goldenwest Street shortly after noon to conduct a welfare check after receiving a tip from a concerned family member, Westminster police said in a news release.

The officers forced themselves into the residence and found the girl dead and alone in the house “with obvious signs of trauma,” police said.

The child’s mother, 32-year-old Khadiyjah Pendergraph, was identified as a person of interest. She was later located and arrested at a shopping center in Aliso Viejo by Westminster police detectives working with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Pendergraph was booked into the county jail on suspicion of murder, police said. There are no additional suspects, and the incident appears to be isolated.

“While police officers are exposed to tragedies on a daily basis, this murder is particularly disturbing, due to the senseless loss of a child allegedly at the hands of her own mother,” Police Chief Darin Lenyi said in a prepared statement.

Anyone with additional information is encouraged to call Det. Marcela Lopez at (714) 548-3773. Anonymous calls can be made to Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) 847-6287 or sent to www.occrimestoppers.org.



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