LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. (WPTV) - The day she was charged with first-degree murder, on Sept. 29, 2016, Kristen Meyer told detectives she never noticed her daughter was dying.
"I saw that she was OK, I never. I knew she was small. I didn't realize she was that small," Meyer said, in a taped statement.
Tayla Aleman weighed only 7 pounds when she was 13-months-old in 2016. She weighed 8 pounds at birth.
New police interview tapes uncovered by WPTV reveal the mindsets of Meyer and her husband Alejandro Aleman after they were arrested following Tayla Aleman's death by starvation in Loxahatchee, Florida.
"She was eating good," Meyer told detectives.
Though the 13-month-old wore clothing fit for a 3-month-old, Meyer never took her to the doctor.
"Of course I thought she was thin. I know I'm feeding her, she's not acting un-normal," she said.
Alejandro Aleman used the same excuse with detectives.
"I know the baby was eating. I bought the stuff," said Aleman.
But Aleman claims he was not involved in raising Tayla, never feeding or changing the baby, never even picking her up.
"I don't hold little kids, there's no law that I have to hold my daughter," Aleman told detectives.
Tayla Aleman died at the hospital last April.
One doctor called it "the worst starvation case" he'd ever seen.
When detectives went to the Aleman home to investigate, they found it had an overpowering smell of urine and feces that could be detected tens of feet away.
The Alemans had 10 other children.
The couple is set to face trial in January 2018. Prosecutors are going after the death penalty.
The Florida Department of Children and Families investigated the family several times before Tayla Aleman died, and the state agency admits they made mistakes that led to her death.
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