SACRAMENTO — A Natomas, Calif., girl whose stepmother beat and strangled her into a vegetative state more than six years ago has died, her father said Sunday.
Truly Lo was 6 years old when her stepmother, Weili Kao, abused her so severely that she fell into a coma.
The girl sustained brain injuries that left her survival in doubt. She never regained consciousness.
Authorities warned after the May 2004 incident that Kao could face homicide charges if Truly did not live. A jury convicted Kao in July 2005 of four felony counts of abusing the girl.
Truly died Tuesday, according to the Sacramento County Coroner's Office website, which listed her death as a homicide.
It was uncertain whether new charges would be filed against Kao. That decision will be made by the Sacramento County district attorney.
Truly's father, Thomas Lo, a software engineer who now lives in the Bay Area, said doctors initially predicted his daughter would not live more than a day or two. But he refused to take her off life support, and she had defied their expectations.
While visiting her bedside, "I could feel her desire to be with us and to be alive," he said.
Lately, he'd felt a change and had told her she could go. "It's sad, but sometimes I think it was a release for her," he said.
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