Girl who witnessed mom's murder bravely testifies against her dad

A 12-year-old girl took the stand in New Jersey recently and told the harrowing story of how she witnessed her own father drowning her mother in the bathtub four years earlier. Although the jury hasn't yet decided the fate of Kleber Cordova--the man accused of murdering his wife, Eliana Torres, back in 2008--if what a young girl is saying is true, I can't even begin to imagine what she has gone through in her short life.

I say if it's true because apparently the girl, who was 8 at the time of the drowning, didn't originally blame her dad, telling the cops instead that she had seen her father "trying to help" her mother "get out of the bathtub," according to Jessica Moses, the accused man's public defender.


In other words, in the four years since the drowning, the girl has changed her account and the defense attorney said in closing arguments that she "had no reason to make up [her original] story on May 9, 2008." But, c'mon, who are we kidding, the girl has absolutely all the reasons to do so.

Consider this: The girl testified two weeks ago that her father told her "not to tell anyone what she saw," that's reason number one. Secondly, she was only 8 years old, for god's sake! Can you just imagine for a just a minute waking up to screaming coming from the bathroom only to find your father holding your fully-clothed mother down and preventing her from getting out of a filled bathtub?

The girl and her little 5-year-old sister, who was only a baby when this horrific event happened, is now living with her maternal grandmother. Neither one has seen their father since her mom's death. I can't help but wonder how all of this will affect these girls when they grow up.

Do you think a child can ever get over something like this?

Image via Meredith_Farmer/flickr