Police confirm that the foster parents of a 2-year-old little girl in McDonough, Georgia, were indicted on murder charges on Thursday, stemming from the little girl’s 2015 death.
NBC 11 Alive reports that little Laila Marie Daniel passed away on November 17, 2015. Her foster mother, Jennifer Rosenbaum, claimed the toddler choked on a piece of chicken. Yet, the district attorney disagreed, and provided enough evidence to indict both Jennifer Rosenbaum and her husband, Joseph Rosenbaum, for murder.
Laila was only in the Rosenbaum’s care for four months when Jennifer Rosenbaum called 911, claiming that the little girl was choking on food. Later, an autopsy revealed that Laila had broken bones and a transected pancreas.
— CBS46 (@cbs46) November 22, 2016
The couple’s defense attorney, Corrine Mull, said that the toddler’s pancreas could have been injured during attempts to revive her. When questioned about other injuries, Mull said that it could have happened while in the care of others. Since birth, Laila lived with numerous family members, as well as in several foster homes.
An investigative report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution indicated that the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) missed red flags, which likely could have saved Laila’s life. For instance, in October 2015, Jennifer Rosenbaum sent a text message to DFCS after Laila broke her leg. Jennifer claimed it happened at gymnastics. A case worker visited Laila, and after she determined that the toddler was doing OK, she didn’t investigate further.
“She is doing fine by her attitude you would never know anything was wrong,” Rosenbaum texted. “Laughing playing singing and hasn’t cried once not even when it happened.”
Not investigating the situation further is a direct DFCS policy violation. A month after the broken leg incident, Laila was dead.
In December 2015, both Jennifer and Joseph were arrested for child cruelty and murder. Jennifer’s arrest warrant read that she kicked Laila “with such force the child’s pancreas was transected. The child was believed to enter shock due to the blood loss resulting from the injury.”
After the child’s death, DFCS looked further into the supposed gymnastics incident. Staff at the gymnastics center said that Laila wasn’t even a member there. Her older sister was enrolled, but during the times Laila was there, she was always seated on the side, watching her sister. Mull, however, said that the child ran around and played at the gymnastics center.
Both Jennifer and Joseph Rosenbaum are out on bond, awaiting trial. Jennifer wears an ankle monitor; neither can leave the state. Their trial is expected to start next year.
[Feature Photo: Family Handout]