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Disabled Flower Girl Found Dead Hours Before Cousin's Wedding, Police Charge Mother

An 8-year-old Long Island girl who has cerebral palsy was found dead in her basement Saturday, just two hours before her cousin's wedding. The girl's mother was found unconscious near the child and the New York Post reports that police are questioning the mother in what could be a possible homicide-attempted suicide case.

"The body of Julie Cirella, who has cerebral palsy, was found with no visible signs of trauma in the basement of the Plainview, LI, home she shared with her mom, grandmother and five others, said Nassau County police Detective Lt. Kevin Smith.

'There's a wheelchair decorated with flowers in the home. Apparently this 8-year-old girl was supposed to go down the aisle in this fashion,' Smith said.

The girl's grandmother discovered the grisly scene when she came home at around noon. Julie was on a mattress on the floor and nearby the grandmother's daughter-in-law, Veronica, 30, was unconscious with a cord wrapped around her neck. Police say they believe she might have tried to strangle herself. The wedding and reception carried on, as stunned relatives learned of Julie's death.

Veronica is currently awaiting arraignment after being charged with manslaughter in connection with Julie's death. It is unclear how Julie died. WSJ reports that Police say there were no outward signs of trauma on Julie's body. An autopsy was performed Sunday but the results were not made public.

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