On another Saturday morning I had just started my shift at 7 a.m. and had just arrived within the boundaries of the 305 area, which was where I usually worked after we were assigned specific areas of the city to patrol. This way we became aware of who belonged in a neighborhood and who didn't. We also got to know the citizens better and formed a bond with them. At about 7:30 a.m. the dispatcher sent me to a residence for an unknown nature. She further advised that there would be a language barrier as the calling party was of Asian decent. I hurriedly arrived at the residence which was partially hidden from the roadway by several trees and bushes. There was no one outside to meet me so I figured whatever was wrong was inside the house. As I knocked on the front door I waited for my complainant to open it. I was about to knock again when the door opened and a male voice invited me in. This was highly unusual until I walked cautiously inside. I was met by a man in a wheelchair. He identified himself as Mr. Floyd and directed me to where his wife was which was in a back bedroom. When I inquired as to what was wrong all he'd say was that his wife would explain. So I walked down a short hall then turned right and observed a small asian female sitting on a bed with her back to me. I spoke to her as I entered the room by identifying myself. As she turned around I saw the body of a small child lying in front of her on the bed. The lady was weeping and she told me the child would not wake up. I immediately asked her to leave the room so I could check the child. She refused at which time I insisted she go to the living room and stay with her husband. As she left (reluctantly) I felt the child's neck for a pulse. I really didn't expect to find one as she already had a waxen look to her face which is normal for deceased people of oriental decent. Not only did she not have a pulse but she was cold as ice. This child had been dead for several hours. I immediately called for an ambulance, supervisor, and detective to come to my location. As we were waiting for these people to show up I made notes of things that seemed out of place. The little girl was fully dressed in clean clothes that she obviously had not slept in. Very strange.
When the paramedics arrived they confirmed what I already knew. They also told me that the Justice of the Peace had just pronounced the child deceased and the funeral home would be coming to get her body. It was at this time that I went to Mrs Floyd and told her, "Ma'am I am sorry to have to tell you but your daughter is dead.' She turned around and looked me straight in the eye and VERY calmly said, 'She not my daughter.' Shocked, I then asked her who the little girl was to her? She tells me in very broken english that she is babysitting the girl while her mama is in Houston having a second child. Mrs. Floyd is so calm that I immediately began to be angry at her for her lack of concern that the child is dead. I remain cool until I find out what happened. My supervisors were speaking with Mr. Floyd at the same time as I was talking to his wife.
Mrs Thu Floyd began to tell me the following events; The night before when the child first arrived she sat her in a bar stool at the bar and she began reading the book, 'The Little Train that Could'. After Mrs Floyd finished reading a page in the book she'd give the book to the 5 year old child and tell her to read it back to her. This little girl had never been to school and was unable to read. When she couldn't read back the page as Mrs Floyd did she would slap the girl so hard that she'd fall out of the stool on to the floor. She'd pick her up and put her back in the chair and they'd do this over and over again. The bar stool was a minimum of 2-3 foot off the floor. The last time the little girl was slapped it was so hard that both she and the stool were knocked over onto the floor and this time she was bleeding from a split lip. Mrs Floyd became upset and told the child to go to bed. The child went straight to the room she was sleeping in and went to bed still crying.
Mrs. Floyd related that she heard the girl get up about midnight and get sick in the bathroom. She was vomiting and she told Mrs Floyd she had a headache. Non-sympathetic Mrs Floyd sent her back to bed. About 4 hours later she heard the girl in the bathroom again so she went to see about her and the child told her she was not able to stand up. Mrs. Floyd insisted she stand up and when she did the girl fell in her arms and she stopped breathing. Mrs. Floyd panicked and so she remove the bloody nightgown from the dead child, bathed her and re-dressed her. She then made the bed and laid her on it. When Mr. Floyd woke up he instructed her call the police.
By the end of her story I was ready to strangle this woman. She showed no compassion or remorse for what had happened. It seemed that in her native culture in Vietnam this was how they taught their children to read. Their son was taught this same way according to Mr. Floyd and he survived to be normal. Well, their son was not present to attest to this. My supervisors knew me so well that they ordered me to go outside and wait for the funeral home to arrive to give me time to calm down so I wouldn't do something stupid to Mrs. Floyd.
After the child's body was removed from the house and Mrs. Floyd was arrested and taken to the police department jail I re-entered the house and began searching for the nightgown the child wore the night before. We searched the entire house and could not find it until a small voice prompted me to check in the washer. Lo and behold there it was and it was the bloody gown we needed to support the claim of the bloody lip from her falling off the chair. I swore that I'd make sure this case was open and shut and this woman would go to prison.
I finally had the chance to talk to Mr. Floyd and find out where he was during the entire reading lesson. He told me he was in the living room listening to it. He is confined to the wheelchair as a quadriplegic and he was no help. He tried to encourage his wife to stop but his voice fell on deaf ears.
The hard part was yet to come which was to tell the child's mother that her oldest daughter was dead. I needed divine intervention to aid me and give me strength to have the correct words to tell this mother what a mom never wants to hear. The Lord alleviated my part in this as we contacted Houston Police to make contact with her.
I worked this case with a passion and testified in the court case against Thu Floyd. This innocent child deserved justice. Thu Floyd was found guilty of aggravated murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison.
The justice system in its infinite wisdom of blind justice served as my salvation in this case. I became an advocate for justice on earth and accountability after death.
The autopsy showed the child received a hard slam of her head on the floor which cause a sub dermal hematoma better known as a blood clot at the base of her skull. As her brain swelled during the night she became sick and probably dizzy. The swelling eventually went to the area at the top of her spinal cord and the base of her brain and it cut off her ability to breathe or move and she died.
Learning to read should not be deadly.