A 3-year-old girl died from internal injuries she suffered during, what could have been multiple sexual assaults by her caretaker, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said Friday.
Deputies arrested Elisamuel Pacheco, 24, and charged him with first degree murder, capital sexual battery and aggravated child abuse.
Investigators said Pacheco was supposed to be caring for the toddler and her 9-month-old twin brothers, but instead was sexually assaulting her.
The little girl had been vomiting and was lethargic all week, but her family thought she had a virus. They found her unresponsive Thursday. She was taken to Florida Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Deputies said the sexual assaults might have been going on for a long time.
"Based on the significance of her injuries, how bad they were, they imagine that that could have been for some time," said Cristal Bermudez Nunez, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office. "It is hard to tell because it's not like Pacheco is just caring for her this one specific day or this week, he is her caretaker when her mother is at work."
Investigators won't reveal the relationship between Pacheco and the mother because it involves a child.
Deputies are now looking into whether Pacheco also abused the twins. If so, he would likely face more charges.