Police called to investigate Tajanay’s death were appalled at the condition of the apartment, in the 4100 block of Edgemere Court. It was strewn with food and dirty dishes, said Marcus Kennedy, an IMPD homicide detective. There were cockroaches and mice, he said, and a rank odor that caused investigators to breathe deeply once they emerged into the fresh air.Even the couple’s pet snakes were in bad shape, said Ty Holder, an officer with Indianapolis Animal Care and Control who was called to the scene by police. Holder hauled away two 3-foot-long Ball pythons. Kennedy said he saw lying on a chair in the apartment a certificate indicating Green had recently completed a parenting class sponsored by the Indiana Department of Child Services.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Child Services Failed Tajanay Bailey
When a child services worker fails to do his or her job, the results can be deadly. Despite the pleas of three-year-old Tajanay Bailey's foster mother, Janice Springfield, Child Protective Services returned Tajanay to her mother and her live-in boyfriend in the dreaded Phoenix apartments last month. "I told Child Services that mom was no good, and that boyfriend was no good,” Springfield said. A month later the little girl is dead after allegedly being beaten to death by her mother and her boyfriend. "She was systematically tortured over the week of Thanksgiving by her mother's fiance and by the mother," [Marion County Prosecutor Carl] Brizzi said. "We believe both of the defendants actively participated in the abuse." An autopsy found Tajanay died from blunt force trauma to her head, neck and abdomen.
Ironically, Tajanay's death came on the same day the Daniels' administration received an award from the Annie E. Casey Foundation for reforming the state's child welfare system. The squalid conditions police described in her mother's apartment after the girl's death should have given any child services worker pause. As described by the Star:
It is extremely troubling to learn that Tajanay had been removed from her mother's home twice for abuse and neglect. The last time she was taken from the home Springfield described physical injuries she had suffered. "[S]he had bruises around her neck, and it looked like somebody took a belt to her behind,” Springfield said, "adding that she urged Child Protective Services not to return Tajanay to her mother as recently as last month." Brizzi complained that there was no police report on the abuse Springfield described when Tajanay was last returned to her custody. I don't know what kind of reforms the Daniels' administration implemented, but they sure as hell didn't help this helpless little girl.