CPS: Girl's body has been in fridge since January death

New details were revealed Wednesday in the case of a 9-year-old girl found dead in her mother's apartment in southwest Houston.

The day after the victim's mother came forward to speak with homicide detectives, an emergency custody hearing was held for the girl's 5-year-old sister.

The body of Ayahna Comb was found wrapped in blankets in the kitchen of an apartment she shared with her mother and 5-year-old sister in the 10100 block of Club Creek Drive.

The mother, Amber Keyes, was questioned by police on Tuesday evening. Police have not yet said if any charges will be filed against Keyes.

At Wednesday's hearing, a Children's Protective Services caseworker testified that Keyes said Ayahna, who had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, died on Jan. 29, 2014, and that her body was placed in a refrigerator drawer shortly thereafter. The caseworker says Ayahna weighed only 14 pounds when she was found Monday. Results of an autopsy performed Tuesday to determine how she died have not been released.

According to the caseworker, Ayahna's younger sister told investigators she saw what appeared to be the body of her sister while getting something from the refrigerator one day.

The caseworker also testified that the girl's mother said Ayahna had last seen a doctor more than two years ago. The caseworker told a judge that when Ayahna was found, she was emaciated, thin, and her body was decomposing.

The girls' father, Armand Comb, testified that he had last seen Ayahna about two months ago, but saw her younger sister more frequently. After hearing a caseworker bring up concerns about Comb's alleged substance abuse, his emotional and mental health, and his failure to follow up on Ayahna's disappearance, the judge ruled Ayahna's 5-year-old sibling will remain in CPS custody for now.

The judge appointed a lawyer for Comb. He has also agreed to undergo a drug screening.

Police found Ayahna's body Monday after a concerned neighbor entered her mother's apartment through an unlocked door and found the child's body. He called the Houston Fire Department. Firefighters notified police.

The investigation is pending the child's cause of death, to be determined by an autopsy by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600.


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