7-year-old girl killed by father in apparent murder-suicide in Philadelphia, police say

PHILADELPHIA — A 7-year-old girl who was the subject of a custody battle was found dead Monday with a bag over her head in an apparent murder-suicide, police said.

Philadelphia police said the girl’s stepfather discovered her body in the living room of a home in the city’s Manayunk section. Her 45-year-old father was found dead in an upstairs bedroom. Police said he apparently killed himself.

Capt. John Ryan told reporters that the girl had been dropped off at her father’s house Saturday for a visit and was due back to her mother’s house Sunday night.

When she wasn’t brought to her mother’s house, several family members went to the Manayunk home to look for the girl, police said.

The stepfather forced his way in and discovered the girl in the living room.

Ryan told WCAU-TV that the father left a note, but he could not discuss its contents.

Family told WPVI-TV that the girl’s mother had a restraining order against the girl’s father and fought for years to have sole custody because of his history of violence.

The Pennsbury School District released a message to parents Monday identifying the girl as Kayden Mancuso, and saying she was about to start second grade at Edgewood Elementary School. The school said counseling services would be available for students and families.

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