BETRAYED: Girl, 5, beaten by father suffers brain injury - KMSP-TV

BETRAYED: Girl, 5, beaten by father suffers brain injury

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De'Anthony Simpson De'Anthony Simpson

The family of a 5-year-old Minnesota girl who suffered a severe brain injury in an apparent act of domestic violence is speaking out in the hopes that others can avoid another senseless tragedy.

Aniyah Simpson's family took to YouTube with a video about their photogenic girl, and the title -- "Betrayed by her own father" -- pretty much says it all.

YOUTUBE: Aniyah, betrayed by her own father

"She loved to dance, she loved to eat, she loved to mess with everybody," Azaria Spikes said of her daughter. "My baby was a playful baby, and she loved to take pictures."

Spikes holds onto the precious snapshots of her daughter dearly, but a new set of photos have become the family's new reality. The once energetic 5-year-old is now in a vegetative state after suffering a severe brain injuries, and doctors have said there is little chance she will make a recovery and get back to the camera she loved so much.

"It's my only child. I am in the hospital every day. I see the trach -- the hole in her throat, the feeding tube in her stomach," Spikes said. "It's hard."

What is so troubling for Spikes and her loved ones is that the man allegedly responsible for putting Aniyah in the hospital is someone they trusted -- her father, 24-year-old De'Anthony Simpson. He is now charged with first-degree assault.

"I think he should get charged with murder because my baby, she can't do anything," Spikes admitted.

Family members say Aniyah had come from Wisconsin to spend 6 weeks with her father at his home in Oakdale, Minn. On May 15, she was rushed to the emergency room with life-threatening injuries. Initially, her father told doctors that a large television had fallen on the girl, something her mother and uncle just couldn't believe.

"She got bruises on her arm like he grabbed her, she had a scratch on her forehead," Spikes said of her daughter's injuries, telling Fox 9 News it appeared someone had been punching the child.

Titus Spikes, Aniyah's uncle, added that his niece also had a black eye.

"I've never seen a TV leave a person with one black eye," he said.

Now, they want justice -- and they want other parents to know just how much damage a split-second of violence can cause.

"He took her life," Titus Spikes said. "His freedom should be taken away."

For weeks before his arrest, De'Anthony Simpson wept with the family inside Aniyah's room at Gillette Children's Hospital without ever admitting what truly happened. According to reports, he eventually changed his story and admitted to authorities that he threw his daughter against a bed, and she apparently bounced off hard and hit the floor.

"I thought I could be able to trust my daughter's father, but I can't," Azaria Spikes said.

The Spikes family told Fox 9 News they refuse to give up hope and are praying for a miraculous recovery. The family has also established a benefit fund to raise money for Aniyah's medical care. Donations can be made online here:

ON FACEBOOK: Community for Aniyah Simpson

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