Colorado woman kept toddler niece in closet before killing her, police say

Shanna Gossett/ Mesa County Jail booking photo

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — Police say a Colorado woman accused of killing her 3-year-old niece kept the toddler strapped to a high chair in a closet for two weeks before pushing her head into a wall and hiding her under a bed.

The Grand Junction Sentinel, citing court documents, reported Monday that 29-year-old Shanna Gossett told police that she confined Bethannie Johnson because she was throwing herself down and hurting herself.

She said she fed and occasionally bathed the child.

The documents say she told police she pushed the girl after she threw a temper tantrum when she was out of the closet on March 15.

Police say Johnson was found severely bruised and unresponsive when someone called for help two days later. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Gossett’s lawyer didn’t return a call seeking comment.

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