NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An investigation is underway after the tragic death of a 7-year-old girl in the Bronx.
Now, the child’s grandmother is speaking out and demanding answers.
“The mother explained that the child hit her head on a table,” Yolanda Davis told CBS2’s Cory James in an exclusive interview Wednesday.
James: “Do you believe that?”
Police found 7-year-old Julissia Batties unconscious Tuesday morning inside an apartment on Alexander Avenue.
Davis, who raised Batties since birth, said the girl was sent to the apartment in April for a court-ordered weekend visit with her mom.
“The weekend became 90 days, 90 days became, ‘You have to do an independent review,’” Davis said.
Davis said she repeatedly went to the Administration for Children’s Services and SCO Family of Services to get her granddaughter back, not knowing why Batties was allowed to stay with a woman who she said abused the child.
“At the age of 4 years old — the date was April 13, 2018 — and what my granddaughter said was, ‘mom hit me with a hammer,’” she said.
The NYPD would not give specific information surrounding Batties’ death. One neighbor who did not want to be identified said she called child services multiple times.
“I would hear screams… They came, they spoke to them,” she told James. “I seen her with a black eye like Thursday or something like that, so that’s why I called ACS, because she told me her mother did that to her eye.”
Five days later, the bright-eyed little girl was dead. Loved ones and neighbors created a memorial in the lobby of the building and in front of the apartment.
Davis said it’s a home Batties should have never been allowed to stay.
“ACS and SCO services has failed me,” she said. “I was trying, I was trying to keep this from happening.”
ACS said it is prohibited by state law from sharing whether a family has a history with the agency. James also reached out to SCO but has not heard back.