Florida Department of Children and Families has accused the mother of a teen who broadcast her suicide on Facebook Live of not only watching the ordeal, but posting comments taunting her daughter.
Naika Venant, 14, of Miami, committed suicide by hanging on January 22, broadcasting her death on Facebook Live. The broadcast was three hours long. According to the Tampa Bay Times, numerous viewers of the Facebook Live feed posted comments trying to talk the girl out of taking her life, while some others maliciously egged her on or claimed the suicide attempt was not real.
The FCDC released a report on Monday alleging that Naika’s mother, Gina Caze, posted abusive comments on the Facebook Live video under the name Gina Alexis, which she reportedly frequently used.
Among the comments the mother is accused of posting:
#ADHD games played u sad little DCF custody jit that’s why u where u at for this dumb s–t n more u keep crying wolf u dead u will get buried life goes on after a jit that doesn’t listen to there parents trying to be grown seeking boys and girls attention instead of her books.
Caze’s lawyer Howard Talenfeld has reportedly denied that his client was online at the time of the suicide, but he hasn’t denied that she made the comments. Instead, Talenfeld claims Caze made those comments after the fact, believing that the video had been a hoax.
“She unequivocally denies she was online while Naika was alive,” he reportedly told the Tampa Bay Times.
According to an ABC 10 News report, Naika suffered abuse and neglect since she was a very young child, which may have contributed to reported behavior problems and promiscuous behavior. Naika did not live with her mother for the first 18 months of her life, and documented incidents began when she was four years old: In the first instance, her mother was accused of leaving her alone in a home with no running water or food.
A year later, Caze allegedly berated her daughter during an emergency room visit, and initially refused to admit her to the hospital to treat an unnamed chronic health condition. According to ABC News 10, Caze screamed that her daughter was a liar and faking her condition, and threatened to send her back to Haiti, where she was born, so that her mother could have a better life. In that case, she eventually agreed to have her daughter admitted once authorities arrived to the hospital.
Just a few months later, Naika was severely beaten with belt after reportedly engaging in a sexual activity with a male babysitter. According to the FDCF report cited by ABC News 10, Naika, who was six years old at the time, was said to have initiated the encounter.
There were additional reports of “sexually inappropriate behavior” on the child’s part, according to the FDCF records. Naika reportedly told a therapist that while she was living with her mother, she would watch “sex movies” with her mother and sleep in the same room as her mother’s boyfriends.
Naika was in and out of foster care until April 2016, when her mother reportedly brought the girl to a case manager and said she no longer wanted Naika living with her. Naika reportedly was distraught that she could not live with her mother and frequently spoke of missing her.
According to ABC News, the report characterized the multiple instances of mistreatment Naika experienced as “key suicidal factors.”
“There is little we can say that adequately describes the sorrow we still feel today from the loss of Naika,” FDCF Secretary Mike Carroll told the Tampa Bay Times. “This is a child who endured great trauma in her life and despite many service interventions, we were not able to put the pieces back together to prevent her from taking her own life in such a public forum.”