Pabalelo, Northern Cape - A woman was arrested on Wednesday morning for allegedly killing her stepdaughter at Pabalelo in Upington, Northern Cape police said.

The arrest of the 29-year-old formed part of an investigation launched on Sunday after the three-year-old girl was found dead, said Lieutenant Sergio Kock.

“The relatives of the child called for an ambulance, saying the child was vomiting, on Sunday afternoon,” said Kock.

The paramedics declared the girl dead on the scene upon arrival.

An inquest docket was opened as police suspected foul play.

Kock said investigations revealed that the child died as a result of head injuries and there was also a possibility of malnourishment.

“It was also alleged that the child was abused physically, for a period of time, as she had old and new scratch marks on both sides of the neck and chest.”

The evidence prompted police to arrest the woman, who was looking after the girl when the father went to work.

She will appear in the Upington Magistrate's Court on Friday. - Sapa