Mother, stepfather accused of murdering daughter to make first court appearance Wednesday
BELFAST — The mother and stepfather accused of murdering their 10-year-old daughter are due to make their first appearance in Waldo County Superior Court Feb. 28, following their Feb. 26 arrest.
Sharon Carrillo, 33, and Julio Carrillo, 51, both of Stockton Springs, have each been charged with depraved indifference murder.
An autopsy by Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Mark Flomenbaum determined the cause of death to be Battered Child Syndrome, with recent subdural hematoma, a lacerated liver, and multiple old injuries, according to police reports. The manner of death was determined to be homicide and the injuries occurred as a result of acute and chronic abuse by other persons.
The pair were arrested after Julio called emergency services around 2:40 p.m., saying stepdaughter Marissa Kennedy had been discovered on the basement floor of the Stockton Springs home where they were staying, unconscious near a furnace with blood coming from her mouth. Julio reportedly told a Waldo County dispatcher that Marissa had gone into the basement several hours before she was discovered unconscious but still breathing.
Emergency services arrived at the scene 16 minutes after the 9-1-1 call was placed, where Marissa was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Waldo County Sheriff’s Office Corporal Moody arrived at the scene a short time later and found ambulance personnel and Sharon Carrillo sitting in the parent's bedroom, where there were also two cribs and a mattress on the floor. Marissa was laying on the floor next to the mattress she slept on covered with a blanket when Moody arrived.
When Sharon was questioned about what happened to the girl, she reportedly stated that Marissa had been downstairs for roughly three hours when Julio went downstairs and found her lying near an oil tank, bleeding from her mouth. According to Sharon, Julio then brought Marissa back upstairs and sat her in a chair while she continued to bleed from her nose and mouth. He then picked her up and put her on her mattress. Sharon stated she was moved to the floor per 9-1-1 instructions.
Sharon reportedly told Moody that Marissa had a history of self-injurious behavior, including pinching herself and pulling her own hair.
When asked where he found Marissa, Julio took Moody downstairs to a room in the basement where the oil fuel tank and furnace were located, police said. He also said Marissa was downstairs for three hours and said she would go down and watch television. Julio said two chairs in the room were knocked over, in addition to a toolbox, and Marissa was on the floor when he found her.
Moody told State Police that the toolbox and chairs had already been cleaned up prior to his arrival. Moody also reported he did not see any blood on the floor in the area where the Carrillos stated they found Marissa.
Julio stated that after discovering the girl, he picked her up and brought her upstairs, sitting her in a chair, which Moody found with brownish liquid in the chair and on the floor underneath. It was when she began bleeding from her nose and mouth that Julio said he picked her up and brought her to mattress.
After clearing the room, Moody waited for Waldo County Sheriff’s Detective Merl Reed to arrive before examining Marissa’s body. According to the report, Reed observed a swollen area above her left eye along with a bruise, in addition to brown liquid in her mouth and brown stains around her nose. There was also brown liquid on the mattress she was beside, the blanket she was under, and part of the bedroom door. Brown liquid was also found in an upstairs bathroom. Reed reportedly told State Police it looked like Marissa’s whole stomach was bruised.
Neighbors reportedly told Reed that there was frequently fighting coming from the apartment, according to police reports.
The Carrillos have a history of domestic violence issues, with reports from the Bangor Police Department, the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office, and the Maine State Police, according to police reports.
Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit Detective Sergeant Jason Richards observed Marissa’s body to have multiple areas of bruising, including her head, abdomen, and legs, in addition to multiple open drying wounds on her knees.
A note was discovered lying on the counter during the investigation, addressed ‘to whom it may concern,’ and dated Feb. 24. The letter reportedly stated that the author could “no longer control the child,” among other things.
Julio was interviewed at the scene by two Maine State Police detectives Feb. 25, during which time he stated he is the co-parent of Marissa and was in the process of trying to adopt her. He reportedly stated that he and Sharon had both punished Marissa beginning roughly at the end of October.
He described the punishment as including things like forcing her to kneel on the kitchen tile while holding her hands in the air and whipping her roughly 10-15 times on the ribs with a leather belt. Julio told detectives both he and Sharon had inflicted the punishment and showed them the belt used.
He explained that the reason Marissa was forced to kneel on the tile was because it was the most painful surface in the house and would hurt her more than kneeling on a carpet or wood floor. While Marissa was in the kneeling position with her hands in the air, Julio said he and Sharon would also repeatedly strike her abdomen with their open hands or fists. The couple also repeatedly struck Marissa in the face and forehead both with an open hand and closed fist.
During the interview, Julio also admitted to hitting Marissa in the ribs with a metal mop that was located in the kitchen, causing the mop to break in half. Julio stated that incident occurred roughly three weeks before Marissa’s death.
Julio said the beatings occurred multiple times a day every day, with he and Sharon taking turns beating and striking Marissa, police reports said. The beatings reportedly lasted until Feb. 22 or 23, when Marissa could no longer walk or speak without slurring. Julio said at some point during this period he stopped beating Marissa, but that he believed Sharon had inflicted one more “punishment session,” where she beat and whipped the girl’s body because she believed Marissa was faking not being able to walk and her slurred speech.
Julio said it was on Feb. 24 that he and Sharon discussed a plan to stage the scene in the boiler room of their home and making it appear that Marissa injured herself, according to police reports. They discussed the plan the morning of their 9-1-1 call before Julio carried Marissa’s unresponsive body down the stairs and placed it alongside the oil tank on the concrete floor. After two to three hours he brought the girl back upstairs and placed her in a folding chair, at which point a significant amount of blood began to leak out of her body through the nose and mouth. After both Sharon and Julio attempted to clean up the blood, they called emergency services and followed their instructions.
While Sharon Carrillo initially denied any involvement in her daughter’s death, she eventually admitted she and Julio have jointly punished Marissa since roughly the end of October, police reports said. Sharon recounted the same course of punishment that Julio had, except she added that Marissa was also forced to stay shut in a small closet for extended periods as another way to punish her. Sharon stated that Marissa screamed the entire time when she was being beaten or while locked in a closet.
Two toddlers, at the home, aged one and two, were taken into state custody Feb. 25.
Both Julio and Sharon Carrillo remain in custody pending their initial court appearance, which is set to occur at 1 p.m. in Waldo County Superior Court Feb. 28.
*An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the nature of this court appearance as the arraignment of Julio and Sharon Carrillo. It has been corrected to reflect the fact that it was their initial appearance.
Erica Thoms can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org