Mother charged in toddler’s death: ‘I had to get the darkness out of her’

THOMASVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) – A York County woman is facing homicide charges in the death of her three-year-old daughter.

A memorial is outside of 30-year-old Regina Lester’s home, which is in Chesapeake Estate in Jackson Township. The memorial is for her three-year-old daughter, Isabel Rose Godfrey.

According to police, Godfrey was found unresponsive in the kitchen and was later pronounced dead at York Hospital on Wednesday night.

Regina lester

On Thursday, Ashley Shaffer, a friend of Lester, was quick to defend her.

“It’s terrible to think she could even do this,” Shaffer told ABC 27 News. “She’s not this kind of person.”

Shaffer was emotional while talking to ABC 27 News about her friend, but also remembered the three-year-old who was killed.

“She was a great little girl,” Shaffer said about Godfrey. “She was happy, playful, loved life. She was just your typical little three-year-old.”

Court paperwork painted a horrifying picture of what happened in the child’s last moments.

An affidavit obtained by ABC 27 News claimed Lester needed to “get the darkness out of her daughter” and also went to a neighbor’s house in an attempt to kill their children. The affidavit also showed that when a friend found Lester Wednesday night she was naked and hugging a tree.

“She was a great devoted mother,” Shaffer said about Lester. “She had some issues with drugs and things like that.”

Police said another one of Lester’s children was home at the time and he was the one to tell a friend that Lester was trying to kill his sister.

Godfrey was pronounced dead at York Hospital.

Laura Mendenhall, who also lives in the trailer park, was still in shock Thursday from the horrifying situation.

“It’s a horrible feeling inside that a three-year-old had to be killed,” Mendenhall said. “How could a mother do that?”

Friends told ABC 27 News that Lester’s other children were staying with family members.

Police said Lester was taken to the hospital on Wednesday night, but didn’t provide an update on her location on Thursday.

An autopsy has been scheduled for Friday on Godfrey.

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