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Missouri women charged with murdering 5-year-old by allegedly ‘hogtying’ her to futon and gagging her with sock for stealing food

Angela West and Shamira Buford (Waynesvill Police Dept.)

Angela West and Shamira Buford (Waynesville Police Dept.)

Two women in Missouri were arrested this week on a slew of felony charges for allegedly killing a 5-year-old girl who was hogtied and gagged with a sock in her mouth in an effort to prevent the child from stealing food, police said. Angela West, 40, and Shamira Buford, 36, were taken into custody on Tuesday and both charged with second-degree murder, first-degree involuntary manslaughter, abuse or neglect of a child – resulting in death and first-degree endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the little girl’s death, authorities announced.

According to a press release from the Waynesville Police Department, on the morning of March 7, a young student contacted a Waynesville School resource officer and reported that prior to arriving at school he saw that his younger sister was unconscious and unresponsive on the floor in their home. The resource officer immediately contacted the police who responded to the residence located in the 700 block of Washington Street, which is about 140 miles southwest of St. Louis.

Upon arriving at the home, first responders say they made contact with another one of the reporting child’s siblings. The second child answered the door and “stated that her younger sibling was deceased inside the residence.”

“Officers made entry and confirmed that one person, a 5-year-old female, was unconscious and unresponsive,” the release states. “After the Waynesville Officers secured the area, the victim was pronounced deceased on scene by Pulaski County Coroner Roger Graves.”

The two adult females in the residence — later identified as West and Buford — were subsequently taken into custody and transported to the Pulaski County Jail. County Circuit Judge Colin Long ordered both of the defendants to be held without bond pending additional proceedings.

Police provided additional details in a sworn affidavit of probable cause obtained by Springfield CBS affiliate KOLR.

According to the report, West and Buford were both asleep when police arrived at their home at around 8:50 a.m. and the child who answered the door told the officers that their younger sibling had choked. It was reportedly Buford who then found the child’s body covered by a blanket in the living room.

Police said that the deceased girl appeared to have “significant” ligature marks around her wrists, ankles, and neck. A grey sock that was “saturated in an unknown substance” and appeared to have blood on it was found next to the child’s body, Columbia ABC affiliate KMIZ reported.

The child who made the initial report allegedly told police that both women had been tying up his little sister at night for several weeks because she steals food, KOLR reported. Another child reportedly said West and Buford would make the 5-year-old’s siblings help tie her up to a futon.

According to KOLR, Buford admitted to police that she and West would tie up the 5-year-old because she “continued to steal food.” They allegedly began by using duct tape and eventually moved on to “hogtying” the child using nylon rope. Buford also allegedly admitted that they used the sock to gag the child because her “whining and crying” kept the other children up at night, reports say.

“We got tired of telling her to be quiet,” Buford told police when asked about the sock-gag, KMIZ reported.

“I thought she was OK because she could breathe through her nose,” West reportedly said in reference to the sock.

Buford and West are scheduled to appear before Judge Long for a bond review on March 13, court records show.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.