After a three-year-old girl was found dead, face down in a snow bank, outside a Weeksville apartment building, the superintendent told WCBS 2 "that a video camera captured pictures of the little girl alone on the apartment complex's rooftop, without shoes, wandering toward the edge." The police believe Kyrah Martin's death was accidental, but the Daily News reports the Department of Homeless Services is investigating.
Kyrah Martin's family had just moved into the building at 1517 Park Place, which, according to the NY Times, has many apartments leased to families placed by the DHS. It was their first night in the building; Kyrah's grandmother Nadine Martin said, "She just placed here. They're not used to living in apartment buildings and stuff so she probably woke up and was in an unfamiliar surrounding, and I mean 3-years-old, she wandered around trying to find her location or something. Because she's not known to do that."
While Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said that Kyrah apparently triggered the roof's door alarm, neighbors said they heard the alarm. A neighbor said the noise was "like an air raid... It's a heavy steel door. I don't understand how a 3-year-old could get out." Another neighbor wondered, "How did she go up there? There are careless mothers around here."
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development had filed a petition in housing court earlier this year, contending that the building "constitute[d] a danger to the life, health or safety of the tenants," due to, the NY Times reports, "damaged joists, rusted fire escape landings, and rusted electric fuse and meter boxes," not to mention broken front door and intercom system, missing smoke detectors, and a burner and boiler in "poor condition." But there were no violations for the roof and the Martins' apartment had passed inspection.