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LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. – A South Carolina woman has been sentenced to 38 years in prison after pleading guilty to homicide by child abuse in the 2017 death of her 4-year-old daughter.

Cynthia Estrada-Lopez, who was sentenced April 1 in Lexington County, will not be eligible for parole, WIS-TV reported.

“The death of this precious 4-year-old girl due to child abuse is one of the most tragic cases that we’ve seen. Lilly’s death is incomprehensible to us and is compounded by the callous nature of her mother’s actions,” 11th Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard stated during the proceedings.

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According to court records, first responders found the child unresponsive on the living room floor on July 31, 2017. The girl was pronounced dead after arrival at Lexington Medical Center, and investigators found evidence of abuse and neglect, including numerous bruises to her head and body.

Meanwhile, the girl’s 5-year-old sibling told forensic investigators that he witnessed their mother restrain and tape Lilly to her bed and place tape over the child’s mouth “so she doesn’t cry.” Lexington County investigators later found evidence corroborating the child’s account, WLTX reported.

In a voluntary statement to investigators, Estrada-Lopez, 28, confessed to restraining the girl and placing tape over her mouth, which left Lilly “gasping for air” after her husband, David Steadman, later removed the adhesive. Estrada-Lopez also admitted that the couple waited “at least maybe an hour” before seeking medical attention for the child, the TV station reported.

An autopsy revealed that Lilly died as a direct result of aspiration of food particles into her lungs, caused by being restrained and having tape placed over her mouth. The report also confirmed the child was dehydrated and suffered blunt force trauma to her head, WIS-TV reported.

Steadman was sentenced to 20 years in prison in February 2020 for his role in Lilly’s death, WLTX reported.