Arrest report details slaying of 6-year-old Las Vegas girl

Danielle Slaughter told police she felt an evil presence in her home several days before her daughter’s death.

But she never thought the evil might have been lurking within herself.

"Did I kill my daughter? Is she dead?" a distraught Slaughter asked police during an interview, detailed in an arrest report released Tuesday.

With blood literally on her hands, Slaughter gave Las Vegas police detectives a gruesome account of the Sunday stabbing death of her 6-year-old daughter, Kyla Franks, a kindergartner at Bell Elementary School.

Slaughter told detectives she kept Kyla home from day care on Sunday because she felt an "evil" spirit lurking. She had felt the spirit for several days — except on Saturday, when she went to church.

At some point Sunday afternoon, Slaughter called her daughter into her bedroom and closed the door. When Kyla began saying "evil words" and laughing in an "evil voice," her mother picked up scissors from a desk and repeatedly stabbed her, she told police.

Even during the confession, Slaughter appeared confused, the report said. She repeatedly told police that she could not believe she killed Kyla and that "it was not like her."

About 6 p.m., shortly after the killing, Slaughter was found running naked on Vegas Drive near Jones Boulevard, about two miles from her home. She was screaming, and her hands were covered in blood, although she was uninjured.

"The blood was from the Lamb of God," Slaughter told the officers that found her.

Police weren’t able to connect Slaughter to her daughter’s death for more than two hours, when Slaughter’s live-in boyfriend came home and found the girl’s body.

Ashton Lyken, who owns the home at 1637 Palmae Way, near Vegas Drive and Tenaya Way, told dispatchers the girl had stab wounds on her neck. She was already dead by the time he called 911.

Police later arrested Slaughter at Valley Hospital and Medical Center, where she had been taken after being found wandering on the street.

Slaughter told police she had been taking Hydroxycut, a weight-loss supplement the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has linked to liver damage and other health risks. She said she had been having trouble sleeping since she started taking the drug four days before the killing. She said she slept just one hour Saturday night.

"There was no rhyme or reason to it," Homicide Lt. Ray Steiber said of the girl’s death. "I don’t think there’s anything that anyone could have anticipated."

Steiber said police think the mother was sleep-deprived and may have been affected by the weight-loss product she had been taking.

It was not known whether federal officials have received complaints linking Hydroxycut to confusion or delusions. A U.S. Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman, Siobhan DeLancey, said the product was recalled in 2009 because of complaints about liver damage.

The product was later reformulated and returned to the market by parent company Iovate Health Services Inc. of Canada and Iovate Health Sciences USA Inc. of Blasdell, N.Y., the FDA spokeswoman said.

Company officials did not respond Tuesday to messages.

Police said Slaughter did not have a criminal record, and child welfare officials said Slaughter had no prior history in Clark County.

Five people lived at Lyken’s home, but only Slaughter and her daughter were home during the killing, police said. Sunday’s incident was the first at the home to involve the authorities.

"There were no apparent issues that were going on," Steiber said Monday. "Everybody appeared to be happy and jovial."

Police said they don’t suspect Slaughter, a student at the College of Southern Nevada seeking an associate degree, had been using drugs or alcohol when she was arrested.

Neighbors told the Review-Journal there had been no disturbances at the house and described the residents as a quiet, church-going family.

Slaughter and her daughter had moved into the home less than a year ago, they said.

On Slaughter’s Facebook wall, the young woman wrote several times about her love of God and advocated reading the Bible.

"His love is all I need," Slaughter wrote on Feb. 24. "If there is anything that is not right in my life please remove it. God please continue to shine your bight lights on me, through you all things are possible."

The killing was eerily similar to a 2010 incident when Harold Montague used a battle ax to attack a mother pushing a stroller with a baby near Sahara Avenue and Maryland Parkway. The 4-month-old died; the mother was maimed.

His lawyers have said Montague, who also stabbed his disabled sister-in-law before running outside to attack the woman and child, was insane and delusional.

In 2011, teenager Carl Marcus Guilford told police he stabbed his cellmate to death at the county jail.

Guilford, who was being held on a murder charge in connection with the suffocation death of his 6-year-old cousin, told police the devil made him do it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact reporter Mike Blasky at mblasky@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0283.

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