NEWPORT NEWS- The man accused of killing a four-year-old girl remains in jail as he faces murder, child neglect and cruelty charges.

23-year-old Carl Cottee Jr. was in Newport News Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Monday.

Police say he's responsible for the death of his girlfriend's daughter, Madyson VanCleave-Hook.

Her family and friends held a candlelight vigil Sunday night - three days after police say she was killed.

'I want to grab and hold her and kiss her one more time,' Howard Lavelle, victim's grandfather, said.

The child injured inside her home on Sundown Lane on Thursday morning. She died at the hospital. Police say the autopsy determined she died from a blow to the head.

Police says Cottee was watching the little girl at the time.

Grandmother Tracy Hook says Maydson was like a daughter to her.

'It shouldn't have happened. She was a beautiful child who was full of life,' she said.

Hook says she suspected Cottee was mistreating her granddaughter and she says she tried to warn police.

'Yes, I honestly believe deep in my heart. This is why I contacted police. I was trying to go the proper way and stuff. It seemed to have failed us. Two weeks later our precious granddaughter was killed.'

Cottee was given a court-appointed attorney and is due in court on July 25, Clerk of Court Patsy A. Ewell told

Read or Share this story: