The stepmother of 3-year-old Aydah Grace DiMaso now faces charges of aggravated child abuse, Gadsden Police Lt. Scott Lumpkin said, as the result of evidence uncovered during the investigation into the child's death.
The child's father, Nikolas Joseph DiMaso, 23, was arrested Oct. 4 and charged with capital murder in his daughter's death.
Aydah was found dead in a bathtub at a residence in the 700 block of Crestview Drive after a family member asked police to check on her welfare.
DiMaso's wife, Haley Dee Metz, 30, of Gadsden, was booked into the Etowah County Detention Center at about 3 p.m. Friday on the felony child abuse charge. She is being held on $750,000 bond.
The Code of Alabama says a person commits child abuse when they torture, willfully abuse, cruelly beat or otherwise willfully maltreat a child under the age of 18. A "responsible person" commits aggravated child abuse if the abuse occurs on more than one occasion.
If the child is under 6 years old, the offense is a Class A felony; Aydah turned 3 on Sept. 20.
Lumpkin said a family member reported Oct. 4 that DiMaso told them Aydah was unresponsive. That family member called authorities asking for the welfare check.
When police and fire department medical responders arrived, they found it was too late to help the child.
A memorial GoFundMe account has been established for the family, to help with the cost of her memorial and "to fund a trust to ensure the the family can get #JusticeForAydah."
Organizer Sacha Wolfe-Daimpre wrote on the GoFundMe page, describing what happened to Aydah as "unthinkable."
"Aydah was a sweet soul with an infectious giggle, loved deeply by her Grandparents who had been fighting for custody of her," she said. "The system let her down, and so sadly, this tragedy was utterly preventable."
Contact Gadsden Times reporter Donna Thornton at 256-393-3284 or email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on The Gadsden Times: Aydah DiMaso's stepmother faces child abuse charge, Gadsden police say