Miami-Dade County

Before dumping corpse in trash, mom smothered young daughter with pillow, cops say

Tina Farrington
Tina Farrington

Before dumping the body in a trash bin, a South Miami-Dade woman used a pillow to fatally smother her 4-year-old daughter on Halloween night because of “hearing the girl talk back to her,” police said Monday.

Tina Farrington, 31, was booked into a Miami-Dade jail on a first-degree murder charge early Monday for the death of daughter Tania Paige.

After killing Tania, the mother hid the corpse in the trunk of her Nissan Altima for several days, according to a police arrest report Monday. She later moved the body to a commercial trash bin at her apartment complex, where it remained for about 14 hours, police said.

A man throwing out garbage on Sunday afternoon discovered Tania’s decomposing body inside the trash bin at the Tuscany Place complex, 25470 SW 137th Ave. The bin, which was in the same complex where Tania and her mother lived, was towed away by police to the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office.

“The defendant provided a detailed confession,” Miami-Dade Detective Rich Raphael wrote in his arrest report.

An autopsy is being conducted to determine Tania’s cause of death.

The police report suggests that Tania had long been the victim of abuse — bruises were discovered on the girl’s arms, legs and torso. “Anything involving a child is always going to be difficult,” said Miami-Dade police spokesman Argemis Colome. “This hits everybody.”

Farrington, who is unemployed according to the police report, also had a son who was in the apartment at the time who was apparently unharmed. She did not have an extensive criminal history, save a 2008 arrest for disorderly conduct for getting into a wild brawl at Mango’s Tropical Cafe in South Beach. The charge was dropped.

The Florida Department of Children & Families, which investigates child abuse, said that Tania had been the subject of an investigation in 2016 but in a case that did not involve her mother.

The investigation uncovered no indicators of abuse but DCF spokeswoman Jessica Sim said in a statement that the agency will review how it handled the previous case. Farrington’s son was in the care of relatives, DCF said, and the agency would support that child “in any way we can.”

“We are disgusted and devastated by the death of this innocent girl. said DCF Secretary Mike Carroll in a statement. “DCF has opened a child death investigation to review all circumstances that led to this tragedy and will assist police in any possible way to hold anyone responsible accountable for this heinous act.”

This isn’t the first Miami mother to come under recent suspicion for murdering their own child and discarding the body in a trash bin.

Last year, a Miami woman named Marjorie Dufrene admitted to a judge that her toddler Angela was dead. She gave homicide detectives various versions of what happened to the girl, and said she dumped the body in a North Miami-Dade trash bin. Dufrene had a long history of suspected child abuse, but the girl was never placed under DCF supervision, the agency acknowledged.

Dufrene has not been charged with Angela’s killing because detectives, with little evidence beyond her statement, have yet to recover a body.

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