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Two Pulaski County women charged with murder of 5-year-old girl

Angela West, left, and Shamira Buford are charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and other charges after a 5-year-old girl was found dead in their home this week.
Pulaski County Sheriff's Department
Angela West, left, and Shamira Buford are charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and other charges after a 5-year-old girl was found dead in their home this week.


Two women in Waynesville have been charged and arrested after a 5-year-old girl was found dead Tuesday.

Shamira Buford, 36, and Angela West, 40, were both charged with second-degree murder, first-degree involuntary manslaughter, abuse or neglect of a child – resulting in death and first-degree endangering the welfare of a child. Both are being held at the Pulaski County Jail without bond, according to the prosecutor’s Facebook page.

A Waynesville Schools school resource officer contacted the Waynesville Police Department after a student told him he found his 5-year-old sister on the floor with a sock in her mouth, according to the probable cause statement. The SRO told police the student had tried to conduct CPR, the statement says.

A Waynesville police officer went to the home in the 700 block of Washington Street and made contact with someone who said a child was found dead. That person allegedly told police, “she choked,” according to the statement.

Police entered the home and made contact with Buford and West, who were asleep in a bedroom. Buford left the room and found the child, lifeless under a blanket in the living room. The coroner was called in.

An officer noticed “significant” marks on her wrists, ankles and neck, as well as a gray sock with blood on it next to the body. It was also “saturated with an unknown substance,” according to the statement. Fibers were allegedly found in the girl’s mouth and nylon rope was found in the home.

An official from the Children’s Division went to the Waynesville Sixth Grade Center and talked with a sibling. He said his step mother woke him up that morning, he brushed his teeth and then started speaking to his sister.

“And then I saw my little sister over there tied up,” the probable cause statement says.

The student said the girl gets up in the middle of the night and “steals” and said “we have to tie her up to the futon.”

Another sibling said she, West and Buford had been tying the girl to the bed for the past three months. She stated when she woke up Tuesday morning, the girl’s lips were purple, she wasn’t moving and had no pulse. One person allegedly performed CPR before another took over. She said she didn’t call 911 because she didn’t know how to tell her mom the girl died.

That person allegedly told police, “She (the girl) has a sticky fingers problem so the solution my parents came up with was to tie her arms behind back and tie her to the bed.”

She said West came up with the idea, the statement says.

“I had to tie her up because Angie has back problems,” she said in the probable cause statement.

Police asked if she was explicitly told to tie her up that night.

“No, I just know that every night I’m supposed to tie her up,” she said in the statement. She said West instructed her to “hogtie” the girl, which including tying a short rope to the bar of the futon and around her neck. Just the girl’s head was the only body part that was on the bed when police found her.

At the Waynesville Police Department, West allegedly told police the girl had been getting tied up around her waist. She allegedly said that she and Buford resorted to tying up the girl because she had allegedly been taking food at night. West also claimed it had been at least a week since she tied up the girl, according to the probable cause statement.

Buford allegedly told police that she told “them” to stop tying the girl’s neck when she noticed marks on her neck.

West claimed they put a sock in the girl’s mouth because she was loud at night.  

“I made a smart ass comment about it one night and just went from there,” West allegedly told police, according to the statement.

“We got tired of telling her to be quiet,” the probable cause statement says Buford said.

West also claimed she taught one of the siblings how to tie knots.

“She used one of the knots I taught her but never told her to tie her neck,” the statement says.

West allegedly told police, “I thought she was OK because she could breathe through her nose.”

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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Ryan Shiner


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