The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has cited the Euclid day care facility attended by slain girl Aniya Day-Garrett, finding that the business failed to report suspected incidents of abuse involving the 4-year-old.
Per Cleveland.com, ODJFS determined that Harbor Crest Child Care failed to notify Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services about each incident where Day-Garrett came to the day care with suspicious injuries, which is required by law. The agency began its probe of the facility on March 23.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the child’s mother, Sierra Day, and the woman’s boyfriend, Deonte Lewis, have been charged with aggravated murder. They remain jailed on $1 million bond.
Responding officers reportedly found the little girl unresponsive in her Euclid home on March 11. They noted that she appeared emaciated and showed signs of abuse—including burns on her legs and feet.
Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office said that Day-Garrett died after suffering a stroke caused by blunt force trauma to her head.
Harbor Crest Child Care is said to have documented at least 14 instances of abuse involving the slain 4-year-old. Tamika Robinson, who took control of the day care in 2017, contacted police on May 18, 2017, after reportedly finding blood coming from Aniya’s ear.
It was then that employees presented authorities with other reports—which went as far back as September 2015 and were as recent as three days before Robinson called police. The documented cases entail black eyes, bruises, and bumps on Day-Garrett’s head.
At the time, the child’s mother allegedly blamed the injury on the day care and claimed her daughter lies habitually, the Cleveland Scene reported.
“It was reported February 2017, April 2017, and May 2017. Harbor Crest Childcare Academy disagrees with the findings,” the day care wrote in a statement issued this week.
According to WEWS, the victim’s father, Mickhal Garrett (pictured), called attention to possible abuse going on in the Euclid home months before her murder.
The concerned father reportedly sent a letter to Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court in December 2017, begging the court for full custody on Day-Garrett. At the time, he claimed that he was cut off from his daughter and that relatives believed she was being abused.
“I truly, truly, truly feel as though our daughter is being abused at home physically/mentally and that her life could possibly be in danger,” Garrett wrote, according to the news station.
In light of his daughter’s death, Garrett has called for an investigation into Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services. He’s accused the agency of failing to remove his daughter from the Euclid home despite receiving three calls last year to investigate abuse.
An ODJFS spokesperson told Cleveland.com that Harbor Crest Child Care has until Tuesday to submit a written action plan detailing how they’ll resolve the violations.
WJW reported that ODJFS is also reviewing Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services’ handling of this case. Additionally, the county has an independent panel conducting its own review.
[Featured Image: Aniya Day-Garrett/GoFundMe]