(Updated Wednesday, Nov. 22.)
Last weekend evening ended in tragedy as what was initially believed to be a drowning in Putah Creek turned into a much darker, depraved scenario.
According to the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department, 4-year-old Aminatu-Amaya Jamiylah-Nasreen Abdul-Raafi, was pulled from the creek behind the El Rio Villas (Yolo Housing), located immediately east of Winters city limits on Russell Boulevard at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19.
Deputies were dispatched to the area of Owings Court and Shams Way following the report of possible drowning in nearby Putah Creek, which skirts the property. The child was unresponsive upon the arrival of emergency services and transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead after lifesaving measures were unsuccessful.
Detectives with the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene as well, and after an investigation, placed the child’s father, Markeese Carter, 26, of Winters under arrest. Carter was booked into the Yolo County Jail on charges including murder, sexual assault, child endangerment and assault on a peace officer.
An autopsy was conducted on the morning of Monday, Nov. 20, however, the cause of death was not released at press time on Tuesday.
Lisa Baker, executive director for Yolo County Housing Authority, expressed sympathy for the victim and her family.
“Our hearts go out to the family at this time. It is a terrible tragedy,” said Baker. “There is an ongoing investigation and we are cooperating in that investigation.”
The motive for the assault is still under investigation. Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is urged to contact Detective Sergeant Kurt Zeiler, 530-668-5280.