The mother of a seven-year-old girl who died in early January was charged Friday with criminal negligence causing death and assault.

The woman was arrested just before 7 a.m., said Laval police spokesperson Stephanie Beshara, and appeared by videoconference in court Friday from police headquarters.

A publication ban has been placed on her name and the girl’s name. The woman was wearing jeans and a navy sweater, kept her hands folded in front throughout the proceedings. She didn’t say anything, listened closely to the Dari-French translator as he translated the hearing for her.

The Crown objected to the woman’s release on bail. A bail hearing has been set for Monday, when the woman will be present in person at the Laval court.

The incident took place on the afternoon of Jan.3, when emergency services were called to a home in the city north of Montreal. Responders found the girl, who was not breathing.

The assault charge goes back to June 2020 and the criminal negligence causing death charges stems from December 2020.

“You’ll understand that at this point in the procedures I can’t divulge any information on order to protect the criminal process at this point in time,” said Crown prosecutor Nektarios Tzortzinas.

Neighbours reported that they heard what sounded like a child screaming and crying all day with some adding that it had been ongoing for months.

Upon news of the arrest, neighbour John Saliba said he thought “police did good,” in making an arrest, adding that “it’s really sad.”

He said the family mostly kept to itself.

“I didn’t know them. These people never went out. They didn’t go out on to the street,” he said.

Another neighbour, Kamini Dass, said she was “very relieved to hear” an arrest was made.

“I’m happy that they made an arrest and I hope that justice can be served for that little child,” she said. “I was so distraught. And I still am.”

Quebec’s youth and human right commissions has also launched an inquiry to determine whether the girl's rights were respected. She had been the subject of a report to youth protection officials in Laval.