A Washington state day care worker says she had long suspected that a 3-year-old girl, who recently died of injuries from alleged child abuse, was being abused and had even contacted state authorities.
The worker, who has not been named, told KCPQ News she saw bruises on the young girl more than a year before she died. The Auburn day care employee said she reported the injuries to Child Protective Services and even once confronted the girl’s mother.
The girl — identified by KCPQ only by her first name, Nava — died June 9. On June 15, Nava’s mother, 21-year-old Tatiana Marie Baker and Baker’s boyfriend, DeMarco Devontraye Jackson, 24, had been charged with second-degree murder in the girl’s death, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.
The couple is accused of abusing the child and then denying her medical care for hours.
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Police and medical workers, responding to a 911 call that the young girl had fallen unconscious, arrived at her Auburn home on June 9 to find her already dead.
A subsequent autopsy revealed that the girl had significant bruises all over her body and that she had suffered broken ribs, a broken arm and wrist, and fractures to her pelvis, the Post-Intelligencer reported. She died of internal bleeding due to her injuries, according to the autopsy report.
But the employee from Nava’s former day care said she wonders if Nava might still be alive if the initial reports of bruises had been taken more seriously.
“They were big, they were huge,” the worker said of the bruises, which she said were across the girl’s bottom.
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She added that she even confronted Nava’s mom once about the bruises.
“She said she was jumping on the bed, she fell and the bed was broken,” the worker said of Baker’s explanation.
She described the girl’s death as “heartbreaking."
“I am really upset like something can happen to a little child and somebody reports it and nobody takes any action,” she said.
Documents obtained by KCPQ reportedly confirmed that the bruises on the girl were reported to CPS. KCPQ also obtained a police report from a Kent, Washington, investigator who looked into the report.
“I contacted CPS intake and was informed this incident was reported but did not meet criteria at the time of the report due to lack of detail,” the detective’s abuse report read.
Nava was never removed from the home.
When contacted by KCPQ to discuss Nava’s case, CPS declined to comment but released a brief written statement.
“At this point in time, the Department of Social and Health Services can say only that it has not had an open Child Protective Services case with this family,” the statement read.
Jackson and Brown are scheduled to appear in court June 25 for arraignment.
Photo Credit: Submitted photo via KCPQ News