Woman Confesses to Role in Torture and Murder of Emaciated 3-Year-Old Girl

The third and last person to be imprisoned for the murder of a three-year-old girl who was horribly battered and tortured to death is a 24-year-old woman from Pennsylvania.

After admitting guilt to several offenses related to the murder of young Bella Rae Seachrist, Alexis Herrera will go to prison with her sister and brother-in-law, according to documents.

Herrera specifically entered a guilty plea to one count of general criminal homicide, counts of aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child, unlawful restraint, and conspiracy to conduct criminal homicide.

Rather of entering a plea to a particular charge of first-degree, second-degree, or manslaughter, Herrera will be surrendering to Allegheny County Judge Bruce R. Beemer’s will by entering a plea to the latter open-ended homicide charge.

At an as-yet-to-be-scheduled “degree of guilt hearing,” Beemer will preside over the presentation of evidence by both parties about Herrera’s degree of guilt—or lack thereof—in Bella’s murder.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the judge will next determine if she was guilty of first-degree murder, third-degree murder, or involuntary manslaughter.

Herrera will be imprisoned for Bella’s killing with her sister Laura Ramirez and her brother-in-law Jose Salazar-Ortiz Sr. Herrera faces a sentence that could run from 10 years to life without the possibility of parole.

Bella’s biological father, Salazar-Ortiz, was found guilty of third-degree murder, aggravated violence, endangering the welfare of children, and conspiracy in a nonjury trial held before Beemer. He was given a sentence of 33 to 66 years in prison in August 2023.

Similarly, Beemer judged Ramirez, Bella’s stepmother and the person most responsible for the abuse and torture, guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced her to life in prison without the chance of release plus an extra 37 to 74 years.

According to the authorities, Bella had been “tortured” and “looked like a child out of a concentration camp” before her death.

In response to a report that a 3-year-old kid, later identified as Bella, was “unresponsive” in a bathtub, authorities were called to a residence on Tenth Street on the afternoon of June 9, 2020, according to a press statement from the Allegheny County Police Department.

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“When officers and paramedics arrived, they found the child appearing to be badly bruised and malnourished. Officers and medics performed life saving measures and transported the child to an area hospital where the child was pronounced deceased,” according to the release.

The victim “suffered from prolonged physical and mental abuse,” according to investigators, and Salazar-Ortiz, Ramriez, and Herrera were all at fault.

The child’s cause of death was severe long-term abuse and neglect, according to the medical examiner who conducted Bella’s autopsy, and the manner of death was homicide. The three-year-old was so starved that her hair was coming out and she was so thin that her bones were showing through her skin. Bella was perhaps four years old, although she weighed less than thirty pounds.

According to the authorities, she was frequently made to suffer severe beatings. Beemer launched into a tirade on the trio’s horrendous treatment of the young girl during Ramirez’s sentencing hearing.

“There was no other possible result, based on what occurred day after day, week after week, month after month, but for her to die in one of the most horrific ways possible,” he stated. “The pain, the hunger — I cannot envision a worse fate for that child than the one she suffered at your hands in that house in Oakmont.”

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