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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A mother who police say confessed to killing her 4-year-old and tossing her body in a dumpster will remain behind bars as the girl’s father, a cop, mourns over his little girl.
Miami Beach Police Officer Leon Paige is mourning the loss of his child, Taina Paige.
The department issued a statement on his loss saying,
“We send our deepest condolences and prayers to Officer Leon Paige and his family on the loss of his daughter. We kindly request his privacy be respected during this very difficult time.”
The girl’s mother, 31-year-old Tina Farrington is being held without bond on a first-degree murder charge in the death of her daughter.
In bond court on Monday, a public defender, without elaborating, made mention of Farrington having possible ‘mental issues.’
Police said Farrington gave a detailed confession of the murder once she was in police custody.
According to her arrest report, Farrington was at home with her two kids, including Taina, and became upset after she said Taina spoke back to her on Halloween night.
Farrington reportedly told police she lured Taina and the other child into her room where she suffocated Taina with a pillow.
She then hid Taina’s remains in the trunk of her 2013 Nissan Altima for several days before dumping her body in a dumpster at the Tuscany Place apartments, at SW 254th Street and 137th Avenue, on Sunday around 1 a.m., according to the police report.
That same day a man taking out his trash at the southwest Miami-Dade complex, discovered the child’s body wrapped in a blanket in the bin. He told another woman to call 911. She also saw the body wrapped in the blanket.
“Every time I close my eyes I can see her face,” said Indira Blanco. “He asked me ‘can you see if she’s alive because you can do the CPR’. I said okay let me see. When I opened blanket, I said no, she was dead.”
Dahriana Correa, who lives in the complex, thinks she may have actually seen Farrington putting her daughter’s body in the dumpster.
“She backed up her car and everything and I was like that’s weird that she’s backing up her car to throw away garbage,” she said.
Blanco said Paige’s body was wrapped in a Disney blanket and still in her pajamas.
Police said the child had bruises on her arms, legs, and torso.
“The side of her face was crushed, like someone beat her up,” Blanco said. “Whoever did it, I mean how could they do it. There’s no excuse, there is no excuse to do that.”
When Farrington was taken into custody, Correa said she seemed very relaxed about it.
“All of a sudden you could see her coming down the stairs handcuffed, but she was like okay, like if nothing was happening, like no remorse whatsoever,” said Correa.
Florida Department of Children and Families said they had an investigation open in regards to Taina from 2016 that did not involve her mother. The investigation did not indicate there was abuse, according to DCF.
“We are disgusted and devastated by the death of this innocent girl. DCF has opened a child death investigation to review all circumstances that led to this tragedy and will assist police in any possible to hold anyone responsible accountable for this heinous act,” read the DCF statement.
Sunday night, residents of the apartment complex, many who didn’t even know Paige, held a candlelight memorial for her at the spot where her body was found. They said it was hard to imagine how someone could harm a child and then just toss her body into a dumpster.
“Now you know who the baby is and that’s when it hurts more because she’s right here. She was right here all the time,” said Correa. “How could you do that to your baby?”
On Monday night, neighbors held another vigil for the young girl. They released balloons into the night sky, a prayer in each one.
DCF says Taina’s surviving sibling is being taken care of by relatives.
CBS4 News partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.