The mother of an 11-year-old girl who was stabbed to death cried out in anguish at her suspected killer during a court appearance on Friday.
“I hope you rot in jail! My one and only daughter, you took her away from me. You need to rot in jail,” Carol Bennett-Smith, the mother of Abbiegail Smith yelled at suspect Andreas Erazo during his first court appearance, the Daily News reported.
During the hearing, Erazo, 18, sat hunched in a chair as his charges of first-degree murder and illegal weapons possession were read.
Abbiegail had gone missing in New Jersey on July 12 and was discovered dead the following day with police saying they would investigate her death as a homicide.
Her body was found at about 10:45 a.m. near her apartment building in Keansburg, NJ, Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said, according to Yahoo News.
“We were really hopeful that we would find her,” Gramiccioni said at a news conference. “It’s a punch in the gut for all of us in this community, especially with law enforcement.”
Abbiegail’s mother last saw her at 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday and reported her missing to the police an hour later. Early in the morning on Thursday police posted a missing person flier. Hours later Abbiegail’s body was found.
“I want him to rot in hell, but that’s because I’m angry and crying. His rotting in hell doesn’t mean she’s returning,” Abbiegail’s father Kenroy Smith, 50, told the Daily News over the phone from Jamaica.
“I think of my daughter, and I wonder what she went through with that guy. She was such a fragile little girl. I just think she was fighting for her life and couldn’t get help,” Smith continued while breaking down in tears.
According the Daily News interview with her father, Abbiegail was born in Jamaica in 2005. She moved to the United States with her mother a few years later. The father couldn’t join the family due to immigration issues, but he kept in touch on a daily basis.
“This one was a difficult one. They all are, but especially when it involves a child,” Gramiccioni said Friday outside the courtroom.