CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It appears they slipped right through the cracks of Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services.
A brief search of Cleveland 19 News coverage found four young, vibrant lives taken away by hands of their own parent, even though CCCFS knew of allegations of abuse, neglect or both.
The recent death of 4-year-old Aniya Day-Garrett from Euclid, Ohio on March 11 turned heads towards CCCFS , after it was discovered they had investigated alleged abuse cases by her mother, Sierra Day in 2017.
There was "not enough evidence to remove the child from the home" at the time. . Aniya's mother and mother's boyfriend Deonte Lewis called 9-1-1 on March 11. Aniya Day-Garrett suffered from head trauma and malnutrition. Aniya's father, Mickhal Garrett, filed an affidavit back in December 2017 stating he thought she was being abused at home. He wanted custody and was going through the system. Going through the process. Both are in Cuyahoga County Jail waiting for a Grand Jury to hear their case.
Who else had cases with Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services who passed away? Who else had someone from "the system" that knew a child was headed for trouble?
(Fallen Angels (Left) TaNaejah McCloud, Jordan Rodriguez, Aniya Day-Garrett, Alexandria Hamilton)
Jordan Rodriquez, 5, of Cleveland, Ohio was reported missing by his mother's boyfriend in December 2017. Cleveland Police went to Jordan's home and questioned his mother, Larissa Rodriguez. They found nothing. The next day, police returned and found the boy buried in the backyard. Rodriguez is the mother of nine children and is pregnant with her 10th. Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services removed four children from Rodriguez's home and placed them into emergency faster care. Their ages ranged from 16 months to 12 years. The other children already lived with other family members.
During the Rodriguez investigation, it was discovered that Jordan's case worker / home liaison from Bright Beginnings, Nancy Caraballo, was reportedly buying Rodriguez's food stamps and allegedly trafficking them. Both were indicted by a Grand Jury. Larissa Rodriguez is set for trial on April 30, and Nancy Caraballo on April 2.
TaNaejah McCloud, 5, of Cleveland, Ohio was died on March 19, 2017. Just five months before her death, CCCFS received complaints of abuse and neglect against her mom, Tequila Crump. In the five weeks leading up to her death, a CCCFS social worker visited her home eight times. TaNaejah McCloud died from massive head trauma, her mother Tequila is accused of fatally beating her. Tequila Crump and her partner, Ursula Owens are set for trial on April 16.
In February of 2010, Alexandria Hamilton, 2, was murdered by her mother Tyesha Hamilton. The child was scalded in hot water in a tub at the Econo Lodge located in Northfield, Ohio. The child suffered multiple burns all over her body. According to Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services, they a had a "long history" of working with and investigating Tyesha Hamilton. She had been investigated in the past for neglect, but not abuse. There was an open case with the child's family at the time of Alexandria's death. Tyesha Hamilton is serving 15-life in a state prison. She is up for parole in August 2025.
(Mothers accused in their child's death (left)Tyesha Hamilton, Larissa Rodriguez, Sierra Day, Tequila Crump)
Cleveland 19 reached out to Aniya Day-Garrett's paternal family Friday afternoon. At the request of Mickhal Garrett, we spoke with Aniya's Grandmother, Rachel Garrett for comment. We asked Rachel Garrett three questions. Here are the questions and their responses:
What do you want Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services to know?"
"They failed her. The system failed her dad. We're gonna do everything in our power to make sure changes happen and this doesn't happen again."
Is your family considering a lawsuit against Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services?
"We are waiting to see the outcome of this case."
Aniya's story is being heard around the nation, anything to say to the folks reaching out to your family?
"We appreciate the love and support everyone has shown and given. We ask that the community continue to keep us in your prayers."
The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office investigated 44 child homicide cases between 2015 and 2017. Aniya Day-Garrett's case makes at least 45. There could be more. The CCMEO doesn't have data available yet for 2018.
Cleveland 19 News has given the list of child homicide victims, provided to us by the CCMEO, to Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services. We've asked them to run each child's name through their system to see if they had previous cases, open cases, or tips called in regarding concern for their welfare.
Friday afternoon, CCCFS spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan responded to Cleveland 19's request and said they are not releasing the comparison at this time.
Did any of those kids fall through the cracks too? Could anything else have been done to save their lives?
We'll keep asking questions, digging for answers.
There's an event planned for March 24 called #ChalkTheWalk. A group of community activists plan to write the names of all the children who have died that had cases with CFS on the sidewalks at the Justice Center. That event starts at 2 p.m.
Also, several local groups are coming together for the "Save a Child Marathon" sleepover.
It's being held in honor of Aniya Day-Garrett. It's being held at the Jane Edna Hunter Social Services Building on Euclid Avenue. It starts at 8 p.m. Sunday night and ends at 9 a.m. Monday morning.
People are encouraged to bring tents, chairs and snacks.