SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - An Ark-La-Tex mother says the first thought that came to her mind when she was told that her toddler was murdered was,"'You're lying.' And I went off and had to be sedated. Because you don't think this can happen to you. That's not my child. My child can't be murdered."
Debbie Muskelly, the mother of three-year-old Rizcheir Muskelly, says she can't believe that the person she put her toddler with would harm her daughter, "You never really know what a person is capable of or not capable of."
Tarika Wilson is charged with second degree murder for the death of Rizcheir Muskelly. An autopsy found that the toddler died from blunt force trauma. Shreveport police say Wilson allegedly beat the little girl to death with an extension cord.
Through the emotions, Muskelly explains how Rizcheir ended up in the care Tarika Wilson. Muskelly says they met in a church group while in prison. It all started with a letter from Wilson that Muskelly recalls said that she knows how it feels and that "God placed it in her heart to help me and my girls, all five of my girls."
Since Rizcheir's death and her mother early release from jail in an unrelated case, three of her children have been taken into protective custody. Muskelly says she doesn't understand why. "You would think that Child Protective Services would try to unite families, help families get back together. For one, when I came here, I had no clue that my children wouldn't be given right back to me."
Now Muskelly is facing the daunting task of fighting to get custody of her children, but a much harder thing to do is face her emotions towards Wilson. "I have to forgive her, even though I haven't, and that's going to be very hard to do. I know my daughter's death is not in vain and I'm going to let God have His way. I'm not going to step in. Me and my flesh, yeah, yeah, we're going to let God have His way."
And Muskelly admits to learning a hard lesson in an even harder way, "I'll be the first to admit, now that I see it, I made the wrongest decision of my life. I can't take it back. But I love my kids. Just...mothers, protect your children, take care of them."