Mother says she beheaded daughter
she drowned 'demon' 6-year-old in bath, police told
By HECTOR CASTRO
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER
She told friends her daughter was an uncontrollable "demon."
So, detectives contend, the woman drew a bath in her White Center home, placed the 6-year- old
child in the water and held her under until she died.
Then, using an ax she bought at a nearby hardware store, she cut the child's head off.
Yesterday, King County prosecutors charged Samara L. Spann, 30, with first-degree murder for
the slaying of her daughter, Kyeimah Spann. She was being held under watch in the medical ward of the Sacramento County Main
Jail in Sacramento, Calif., where she was arrested last week for allegedly slapping another child.
The murder case against Spann began with a call from California, where she had been living since
According to documents filed in court, a caseworker with California Child Protective Services
contacted King County detectives Feb. 22, asking them to check on Kyeimah's welfare. The caseworker had heard from one of
the mother's friends that the child may have been killed.
Detectives checked the address provided, but the family living there did not know the Spanns.
When they checked with the local school, Mount View Elementary, they learned Kyeimah had attended first grade there from September
until Jan. 11.
School officials gave detectives another address to check. They found that residence vacant
as well, but neighbors told them Spann had moved just a week earlier.
During the next few weeks, detectives found no reports of missing children that matched Kyeimah's
Detectives later learned that Spann had
contacted Washington's Department of Social and Health Services in January to report she would no longer need welfare for
Kyeimah. She reportedly told authorities that her daughter had moved to Missouri to live with her grandmother.
Then, last Tuesday, the girl's grandfather called from Sacramento to file a missing-person report.
Three days later, a Sacramento County sheriff's detective went to Spann's home and arrested
her for slapping her 14-year-old daughter.
Once in custody, detectives asked Spann about Kyeimah. She initially denied hurting her child,
but eventually confessed, according to the court documents.
In several interviews with King County detectives, who traveled to Sacramento to speak with
Spann, the mother related a horrific story.
Spann said she was a heavy drug user when Kyeimah was born, and that as a crack baby, the girl
was difficult to control. In the late hours of Dec. 31 or Jan. 1, Spann said, she'd had enough.
When the girl kept getting out of bed, interrupting a conversation Spann was having on the phone
with a friend, she decided to drown the child.
Spann told detectives that without telling her friend, she filled her bathtub with water and
drowned Kyeimah, leaving the body in the home for two days. She said she then left and stayed at a Georgetown motel during
She bought a heavy chain, padlock and an ax at a hardware store. While buying these items to
hide Kyeimah's body, she also tried to buy a teddy bear for her third child, an infant boy. But she did not have enough money,
Once at home, she used the ax to decapitate the child. She padlocked a chain around her daughter's
remains, then placed the child in a plastic bin.
Spann allegedly had a friend baby-sit her infant son while she drove to a bridge and dumped
Kyeimah into a body of water. So far, investigators have been unable to find the little girl's remains.
Court documents indicate Spann admitted killing her daughter to at least two friends and her
eldest daughter, who didn't want her mother arrested.
"The girl convinced Spann not to turn herself in because she would lose her mother," prosecutors
The girl and her infant brother have been placed in protective custody, Sacramento authorities
Spann is expected to have a court hearing tomorrow in Sacramento Superior Court, where she could
waive extradition proceedings. If that happens, officials said, she could be in Seattle within days.
About two months before she allegedly killed her daughter, Spann filed for a protection order
against the father of her son.
In her request, Spann said she was being treated for depression and was on medication.
Her criminal history includes arrests for prostitution, forgery and theft.
In July 2000, Washington state CPS officials were contacted after Spann was caught shoplifting
with her children, state officials said.
There was no information available on what came of that contact.