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"Beautiful little girl": Slain Modesto girl identified as a 5-year-old, mother arrested

Modesto mother accused of killing her 5-year-old daughter over the weekend
Modesto mother accused of killing her 5-year-old daughter over the weekend 03:02

MODESTO – New details have emerged in the case involving a mother accused of killing her daughter.

Mina Nazari, 34, is facing a murder charge, according to police.

On Saturday, the Modesto Police Department responded to what it called a tragic event. The girl's father is the one who called 911 to report the unthinkable. 

"How can you just walk away from something like that and not be affected?" said a neighbor who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

A memorial sits not too far from the family's home at the Crown Ridge Apartments.

"She was so little, long black hair. Beautiful little girl," said another neighbor.

A family friend identified her as Fatima Sana Akram. The person described her as a beautiful, smart 5-year-old, while also sharing that the mother suffered from depression and mental illness.

"Many times, there's a stigma associated with going out of the family asking for mental health supportive services," said Gulshan Yusufzai, the executive director of the Muslim American Society Social Services Foundation

Yusufzai revealed that members of the South Asian community rarely seek help until it is too late. The stresses of adapting to life in America, especially for refugees, further burden those who are also traumatized. 

Yusufzai has not provided services to this family.

"If she is depressed, if she is not taking care of herself, if you are able to see those things happening, she's not sleeping well – these are all signs that she's not doing well and she needs support," Yusufzai said

While investigators have not revealed a motive in the killing, a community is rattled by the loss of what could've been for this little girl and how her older brother and father will never be the same.

"I think about the husband and the little boy. The tragedy that is left, the impact it has on this child now, knowing that his mother did that," a neighbor said.

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