new hope funeral home Jaylin Anne
A Texas couple has been arrested and charged with murder after allegedly forcing a child to jump on a trampoline in intense heat for so long the girl died of dehydration.
Daniel and Ashley Schwarz were charged with capital murder on Monday for the August death of 8-year-old Jaylin Anne whom they had been raising.
Both Daniel, 44, and Ashley, 34, were arrested and taken to the Ector County Law Enforcement Center, Odessa police said in a statement Monday.
According to Odessa police, an investigation was opened after officers were called to the Schwarz's home on August 29 and found Jaylin "deceased on scene."
The investigation "revealed that the 8-year-old child had been punished and was not allowed to eat breakfast and was required to jump on the trampoline without stopping for an extended period of time. Further investigation revealed that the 8-year-old child was not allowed to drink any water because she was not jumping."
Odessa Police (2) Daniel and Ashley Schwarz
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The temperature of the trampoline "read to be approximately 110 degrees and the ground was approximately 150 degrees," police said. The high temperature in Odessa on August 29 was 103 degrees, according to Accuweather.com.
The final autopsy, which police obtained on Thursday, showed Jaylin's cause of death to be dehydration and ruled the manner of her death as a homicide.
According to her obituary, Jaylin "was full of life, loved horseback riding, ice skating, and all things outdoors. She loved all people and animals, and was very interested in history and science."
The couple is not Jaylin's biological parents but were her guardians, family members told CBS 7.
Her biological mother Alysha Anderton wrote on social media she had been trying to get access to her daughter and Jaylin's sister, who was also in the Schwarz family's care, at the time of Jaylin's death.
"I never got the chance to tell her how HARD I was trying to be in her life and I was SO SO close," Anderton wrote on Facebook. "Only a few months away from being able to see them."
"But I was too late. And all I can think about is her leaving this world not knowing how much I love her and how much I wanted her. It's not fair that they got so many memories with her and all I'm left with is a hole in my heart that's so big that I'm completely numb and empty. A part of my soul has died and I will never be the same ever again."
A GoFundMe campaign has since been created to help cover burial fees for Jaylin, as well as Anderton's ongoing legal battle for custody of her sister Jayde.
It was not immediately clear if Daniel and Ashley have legal representation to comment on their behalf.