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DFCS report reveals new details in child's death | News

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DFCS report reveals new details in child's death

ATLANTA  (WXIA) – A State Division of Family and Children’s Services report reveals new details in the death of a 2-year-old Henry County girl.

Jennifer Rosenbaum is charged in the Nov. 17 death of her foster child, Laila Marie Daniel.

According to the DFCS report, Rosenbaum contacted a DFCS case manager the day of the child’s death. Rosenbaum told the case worker that the child was eating and began choking on a piece of chicken. Rosenbaum said she used her finger to try and dislodge the food from her airway. When that didn’t work, she said "she then used a butter knife to try to push the chicken down, but was unsuccessful, as Laila continued to choke.  Mrs. Rosenbaum attempted CPR on Laila, and called 911."

LISTEN | 911 call released in Henry County child death

But an autopsy later determined that the child’s death was due to abuse, according to the DFCS report. An arrest warrant states that Laila was denied food and both she and her sister were beaten.  The GBI medical examiner said a major contributing cause for her death was a blow so hard, it transected her pancreas causing Laila severe blood loss.

Rescue attempts were unsuccessful and the child was pronounced dead.

Photos | Laila Marie Daniel

After Daniel’s death, her 4-year-old sister was removed from the home. Jennifer Rosenbaum was charged with murder, aggravated assault, two counts of cruelty to children in the first degree (causing excessive physical or mental pain) and second degree cruelty to children. She was released Tuesday night on $100,000 bond.

According to the DFCS report, Laila Daniel and her sister were placed in foster care in April 2015 due to neglect after their parents were incarcerated. Previous attempts to place the children with relatives were unsuccessful, the report stated. 

Jennifer Rosenbaum came forward and requested to have both girls placed in her home. Rosenbaum said she knew the girls’ mother from childhood. A juvenile court judge and a Henry County Assistant District Attorney, Mary Evans-Battle, both reportedly encouraged DFCS to use Jennifer Rosenbaum as a placement for the children, the report stated.

Rosenbaum had been an intern in the DA's office.  She said she had overcome childhood trauma and was well-respected in the community, according to the DFCS report. On July 24, 2015, the children were placed in Rosenbaums' care, where the girls remained until Laila’s death.

On Wednesday, Henry County District Attorney James Wright told 11Alive News he reviewed the emails that the Assistant District Attorney had sent about the Rosenbaums becoming foster parents.  "I have not seen anything in the emails that threatened DFCS or intimidated DFCS or influenced DFCS to do anything DFCS would not have done, anyway," and contact from his ADA, Write said, was not inappropriate in any way. 

The Rosenbaums were considered as placement resources when Laila’s mother gave birth to a third child, but said three children would be too much for the Rosenbaums to handle.

After Laila Daniel’s death, Jennifer Rosenbaum told DFCS workers that she “never bathed Laila and was not aware of her having any marks or bruises.”  The report does not say Laila was never bathed, only that Mrs. Rosenbaum said she was not the one who bathed her.

The DFCS report states that the foster parent who the children were staying with prior to being placed with the Rosenbaums showed concern over the children’s care with the couple. The report said that the previous foster parent brought the children to Henry County DFCS. Staff reviewed the evidence (which is blacked out in the report) and “believed [bruises] were from normal play and did not consider them to be abusive.”

When certain issues such as a broken leg were brought up to Jennifer Rosenbaum, she told DFCS staff that those issues had occurred during normal play or at gymnastics. The gym later told workers that Laila had never been enrolled in gymnastics there.  It was later learned that Laila attended the gymnastics facility with the Rosenbaums, but did not engage in activities there.

It was also later discovered that the children did not attend daycare while with the Rosenbaums. Jennifer and Joseph Rosenbaum alternated caring for the children. The children would also sometimes visit with their maternal great grandmother on weekends, the report states.

After Daniel’s death, the children’s previous foster parent said she told a case manager that the children’s mother had expressed concern about her daughter being with the Rosenbaums, but nothing was done. That information had not been verified, the report stated.

Since being placed in the care of a different foster family, Laila Daniel's sister has begun to reveal incidents of physical discipline while in the Rosenbaums’ care, according to the report.

Two DFCS workers have been fired
 for failing to follow policy in Daniel's case.

11Alive News is attempting to reach the Rosenbaums' attorney, Corinne Mull of Decatur, for comment on the DFCS report.  Earlier, Mull said the Rosenbaums are being falsely accused.

"These are two very innocent people.  Big mistake has been made and we intend to correct that mistake," said Mull after the couple's first court appearance. "[The two children] have been in abusive homes, serially, and there's no telling where they were abused."

Mull said that Rosenbaum, a former foster child herself, was dedicating her life to helping foster children.

State Rep. Erica Thomas, (D) Austell, who advocates for foster children and was a foster child, herself, said Wednesday that the caseworker should also face criminal charges.