A Queens woman accused of strangling her 9-year-old stepdaughter was arraigned Sunday on a murder charge.
If convicted, 55-year-old Shamdai Arjun faces 25 years to life in prison after allegedly killing Ashdeep Kaur in their Richmond Hill home Friday.
Arjun's ex-husband was also charged with obstruction in the investigation.
Police were called to the home, near 101st Avenue and 112th Street, around 6:03 p.m. Friday.
Police said another resident living in the house called Ashdeep's father, saying the girl had been in the bathroom for a long time and would not answer the door.
Investigators said Ashdeep was found in a first-floor bathtub.
Police sources said she was lying in a fetal position and had some bruising on her upper body, but they initially said they did not know the cause.
A man, Manjinder Singh, who said he was the victim's cousin, initially identified her and said that there was no water in the tub in which she was found.
He said Ashdeep told him that her stepmother was physically abusive.
Singh said his dad and the landlord were the ones who discovered Ashdeep.
"He came here and as soon as he saw the landlord was here, they broke the door and tried to see her," Singh said.
"When I came down then I saw the ambulance and the fire truck and everything, and I just wondered what happened. And then I heard somebody passed away," one nearby resident said.
Arjun was charged Saturday with murder after police questioned her for most of the day.
"We are saddened by this news and are investigating the circumstances that led to this devastating incident, along with the NYPD," the Administration for Children's Services said in a statement Saturday.