Mother Kills 5-Year-Old Daughter by Pushing Her Down the Stairs

Mimi Nguyen Ly
By Mimi Nguyen Ly
November 6, 2018US News
Mother Kills 5-Year-Old Daughter by Pushing Her Down the Stairs

A 25-year-old mother is accused of pushing her 5-year-old daughter down the stairs, killing her in the process, according to the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.

Ciara Robinson of Parkesburgh, Pennsylvania, has been charged with third-degree murder and aggravated assault for her daughter’s death—Amatulah “Amy” McLaughlin.

On Halloween, Robinson had allegedly become angry at her daughter Amy, and hit her, then pushed her down the stairs to the basement of the building, according to the DA’s office. The stairs are 8 to 9 feet tall with a concrete landing.

Robinson subsequently called her friend.

“I knocked [the victim] out. … She won’t wake up. … I am going to jail,” she said, according to the DA’s office.

Amy died of a crushing injury to the head when she hit the concrete, according to an autopsy.

“The victim died from a brain bleed and extreme intra-cranial pressure,” the DA’s office said in a press release.

The autopsy also found that Amy had been chronically abused, as she had extensive bruises, scars, and puncture wounds, and strike marks over her arms, legs, and back.

“This little girl was severely abused, culminating in her death. No child should have to live like this,” District Attorney Tom Hogan said. “Our hearts are broken by the death of an innocent child. Working together, we will make sure
that justice is served.”

Chronic Physical Abuse

Police were able to confirm that Robinson had been beating Amy since at least November 2017.

Parkersburg Borough Police Department and Chester County detectives began to immediately investigate Amy’s death after they found her body at about 9:25 p.m. at Robinson’s residence.

“The victim was not breathing, had no pulse, and was cool to the touch, indicating that she had been dead for some time,” the DA’s office said.

Robinson broke down while police were on the scene. According to a criminal complaint sighted by, she cried and yelled, “I wish I never pushed her down the steps.”

Emergency staff tried to administer CPR, and took Amy by ambulance to a nearby hospital, but she was already dead, according to

“When I look at photographs of this little girl, what I see is that she’s often in clothes that cover up down all the way to her wrists and to her ankles,” Hogan said, according to CBS Philly.

“And like many abusers, it looks like this defendant made sure that she struck this child in places where it wouldn’t show up until she did something that crossed all the way over and killed this little girl,” hogan said.

Robinson also has a 2-year-old son, who is not harmed. As of Nov. 5, the boy is in protective custody with a Chester County agency.

Robinson is being charged with third-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter for the death of the child. She is also being charged with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

“The loss of any child is a tragedy. However, it is horrific that a parent would inflict such sustained and brutal damage to her own daughter,” Hogan said. “We must protect our children.”

Anyone with further information about the case is asked to contact Parkesburg Detective Ryan Murtagh at (610) 857-3535 or Chester County Detective Jerry Davis at (610) 344-6866.

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