Updated 10/09/2010 09:41 AM
Brooklyn DA Investigates Death Of Underweight Girl
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The Brooklyn district attorney's office is opening a rare criminal investigation into the death of a four-year-old girl who weighed just 18 pounds.
The district attorney says his team will examine the actions of both the city's Administration for Children's Services and outside health and social service providers responsible for the well-being of Marchella Pierce.
The girl was found dead in her Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment last month and police say she had been beaten and may have been tied to her bed.
ACS has acknowledged failures in the case, including that a caseworker and supervisor went months without visiting the family, despite signs that she was at risk.
The girl's mother, Carlotta Brett-Pierce, 30, has been charged with assault and child endangerment.
The medical examiner is waiting for test results to determine whether the girl's death was a homicide or the result of health problems she experienced since birth.