DANIEAL KELLY WAS STARVED AND NEGLECTED UNTIL HER DEATH WHEN SHE WAS RIDDLED WITH BONE DEEP BED SORES FILLED WITH MAGGOTS ~ CCA0101 ~ UPDATED 11.14.2013
DANIEAL KELLY WAS STARVED AND NEGLECTED UNTIL HER DEATH WHEN SHE WAS RIDDLED WITH BONE DEEP BED SORES FILLED WITH MAGGOTS
WARNING – THIS POST CONTAINS AUTOPSY PHOTOS OF DANIEAL
Danieal Kelly was born to Andrea Kelly on January 3, 1992, the 3rd child of 9 with 5 different men. Right from birth Danieal was doomed to have a hard life, full of struggle and pain, she was born with Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy is a condition which affects muscle control and coordination. Children with Cerebral Palsy are confined to a wheel chair and completely dependent on others for even the most basic of necessities, such as eating and bowel and bladder control. These precious babies need 24 hour care, and can be afflicted with numerous other disabilities such as vision problems, loss of hearing and speech impediments amongst others. Unfortunately, Danieal’s mother wasn’t fit to take of a hamster much less a child with disabilities. Andrea Kelly and Danieal’s father, Daniel Kelly, separated when Danieal was quite young.
For the first 4 years of Danieal’s life, she lived in a cramped row house with her mother, brother, and other family members with no working toilet. To say Danieal was neglected is the understatement of a life time. Her hair was matted and in knots and her teeth were rotted out. Danieal’s maternal grandmother became so concerned about the little girl that she asked Daniel to take custody of his daughter. Daniel did this, and then he moved to Arizona with Danieal and her brother to live with his girlfriend, Kathleen John. While Danieal was in Arizona with her father, she thrived and grew into a beautiful, happy, confident little girl. She learned to talk and feed herself. She was enrolled in a special needs class where opportunities were abundant.
Pictures of Danieal show her smiling at parties, riding horses, and socializing with other children. School reports described Danieal as an “active learner” and “one of the sweetest students ever enrolled in this program”. The picture looked to be a bright one, and the hope of Danieal living a full happy life seemed to be within reach. The truth is though, things aren’t often as they seem behind closed doors. What wasn’t seen in photos, was the beatings with extension cords Danieal and her brother suffered at the hands of their father. It did not show how neglected the children were, and how they were often left alone at home. Danieal’s only saving grace was her father’s girlfriend. She was the one that took an interest in Danieal and her brother, and she was the one that enrolled them in programs. When Daniel Kelly and the woman broke up in 2001, Danieal was withdrawn from school, and the tragic spiral downwards began to spin out of control.
Daniel asked Danieal’s grandmother to take her and her brother, but the woman became too sick to care for the children. In 2003, Daniel Kelly took his two children and returned to Philadelphia. He asked his estranged wife and her other children to move in with him, Danieal and Danieal’s brother. Not long after everyone moved in together, Daniel took off, leaving all of the children in Andrea Kelly’s care. So that is a douche bag move yes, but the criminally negligent part is that Daniel Kelly was fully aware of what leaving meant for Danieal’s safety and welfare. Despite knowing the danger his daughter would be in, he simply didn’t care, and he never bothered to check on his kids ever again.
Instead of accessing the help she would need with taking care of Danieal, Andrea just locked Danieal in a dark room with no air circulation, laying helplessly on a bed, unable to do anything for herself. The other children lived in squalor, in the filthy home with rotten food scattered about. The home had no utilities and there were mattresses thrown on the floor. Paramedics on scene described the apartment as “unfit for human habitation”. Danieal never attended school, and Andrea failed to ever get the disabled girl ANY medical attention, although it became very clear that Danieal critically needed it. Danieal’s brother begged his mother to call 911 on numerous occasions, but instead of doing so, she threatened him, making him fearful to make a call himself. The little boy continued to beg his mother to help his sister, and it wasn’t until he told her that flies were covering Danieal’s body that Andrea finally called for help.
On August 4, 2006, police and paramedics were called to the apartment, and what they found was horrific and indescribably disturbing. Danieal was curled up in a ball on a mattress, both her and the mattress were covered in feces. The emaciated, malnourished little girl weighed all of 42 pounds, the average weight of a 5 year old – not a 14 year old like Danieal. However the first thing that medics noticed was the overwhelming stench that permeated from the room when they opened the door. The smell of decaying, rotting and infected flesh filled the room, the smell coming from the bone deep maggot filled bed sores found all over Danieal. Sadly, Danieal had been dead for hours before help arrived. Danieal had been left, starving and festering in her own waste for such a long period of time, that her body left a permanent indentation and outline on the mattress. This little girl was in horrific pain and unimaginable terror in the months and days leading to her death. Make no mistake, she suffered over an extended period of time. Danieal’s official cause of death was malnutrition and infection. The doctor that examined the case said the only reason that she lived as long as she did was because she must have been strong willed. My heart just shatters for this little girl. Imagine the horror and desperation you would feel knowing that you are wasting away, dying, but have no physical ability to do anything about it. Imagine laying on a filthy mattress covered in your own waste, growing weaker and weaker by the day, begging for help, knowing that you were going to die, and no one cares.
Now imagine watching your sister suffer this fate. That’s what happened. Little kids who loved their sister were forced to sit by as she begged them for food. Her brother, Daniel Jr., who tried desperately to save his sister, sat by her side trying to bring her what little comfort he could. A little boy who should have been out playing with his friends, was instead watching his sister die. He told authorities that the last word Danieal was able to utter through the pain, was … water. Daniel is now a young man, and has testified in the trials of those who allowed his sister to suffer such a cruel death alone. Even as a child Daniel says “After a while, I would take care of me and my sister because nobody else would.” Daniel calls Kathleen John, his “step-mother”, his only good childhood memory. When Daniel was questioned about the alleged home visits, he testified that he only ever recalls two or three visits actually being made. Daniel is forced to carry the knowledge of his sister’s mistreatment and death with him for the rest of his life, and in my opinion, those that failed Danieal, also failed Daniel. I would like to say this to Daniel:
You young man, are a true testament to strength, courage and sibling love. Your sister left this world horrifically, but she also left this world knowing what love felt like, and it is you she learnt this from. You did all that you could for your sister, and you did this at an age when you should never have known this cruelty even existed. I know that Danieal is watching over you now and very proud of the man you have become. Keep shining your light baby, you are touching the lives of many others in ways that have no words. You give others the courage to fight for those that they love.
When Andrea was asked why she did this to her daughter, she stated that she did not give Danieal food or fluids because she figured if nothing went in, nothing would come out. She didn’t want to touch Danieal, she didn’t want to have to clean her disabled daughter. Andrea locked her daughter in the room, shut the door, and LITERALLY, never stepped foot in that room again. Never, not once. She callously told authorities that she was “embarrassed by Danieal”, and didn’t want to take her out in public. When family members and friends began to express concern for Danieal’s welfare, Andrea shut them out, not allowing them to come around anymore. I have to interject here for a moment, if these family members and friends were so concerned, why didn’t a SINGLE person call the police?? Why did they choose to ignore the situation and pretend like things would be OK?? These people knew the conditions the family was living in, and yet nothing was done. They should have called the police LONG before this happened, if for no other sake than the lives of the 9 other children living in filth.
Danieal’s parents, Andrea and Daniel Kelly, were arrested for murder and held without bail. I know you are all pretty livid and disgusted already, but this takes it all. The day after Andrea and Daniel Kelly were arrested for their daughter’s murder, THEY FILED LAWSUITS AGAINST THE CITY, DHS, THE COMMONWEALTH AND SEVERAL CASEWORKERS WITH FAILING TO PROTECT DANIEAL. It gets even worse – THE LAWSUIT SEEKS MONETARY DAMAGES FROM THE CITY BECAUSE DANIEAL KELLY WAS UNDER DHS SUPERVISION (Uhhhhh, yeah, supervision, that’s what they’re calling this now I guess.) AT THE TIME OF HER DEATH. THE SUIT SPECIFIES THAT THEY WANT TO BE FULLY REIMBURSED FOR MEDICAL BILLS (What bills?????? No one ever got her medical attention!!!!), FUNERAL AND BURIAL EXPENSES AND ATTORNEYS’ FEES. The asshole lawyers that had the audacity to file the suits are Brian Mildenberg and Eric Zajac. I have to wonder how these scum bags sleep at night. I say let’s ensure that the last thing they see at night and the first thing they see in the morning is the autopsy photo of Danieal’s horrific wounds, just remind them of what they are defending. District Attorney Lynn Abraham was as outraged as you and I. She stated “The nerve, the gall. This is such a perversion of what parents are supposed to be.”
The story doesn’t end there. While Andrea is fully responsible for her daughter’s excruciating death, there are many others that have their share of responsibility as well. Danieal was in the system, as a disabled child, she was assigned many caseworkers and caretakers. These people were supposed to be the ones that help to ensure that Danieal was provided with everything she needed and ensure that she was kept safe. This is their sole job, it is what they are tasked with doing, what they get pay checks for, and they failed miserably.
The list of organizations and people that were negligent resulting in Danieal’s death is extensive. Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services are the first to top the list of negligent parties involved. Also on that list is the now defunct, non-profit agency MultiEthnic Behavioral Health Inc. Reports show that neither organization or agency had ever even seen Danieal or reported on the care she was receiving.
Neighbors did notice that something wasn’t right in the home, and contacted DHS, many, many times to report that Danieal was in danger. No one ever looked into these complaints, the numerous claims went ignored, and any chance of saving Danieal’s life flew out the window. Neighbors were not the only ones that made complaints with DHS. Anthony Miller, who is the father of some of Andrea’s children, called the DHS hotline on April 20, 2005. The grand jury states “Mr. Miller said he was moved to make the report to DHS because ‘I seen Danieal Kelly upstairs in a hot room laying in pee, no curtains, no blinds, no fans, just laying in pee.’” No one from DHS ever returned his call or investigated. What the hell does it take to get these monsters to do their jobs?? Every complaint they ignore, is the potential death of a child. We need to start speaking louder about having these laws changed, and having DHS workers held responsible for the injuries and deaths of children they failed to protect. We need to start sentencing these people with prison time.
In the wake of Danieal’s death, two top city commissioners were fired, and DHS was placed under new management. Authorities did consider criminal charges against DHS officials, but could not make the case.
For reach of the people charged in Danieal’s death, I guarantee you that there are ten more that were also negligent.
Two of the people arrested were former city social workers, Dana Poindexter and Laura Sommerer. The two were fired from DHS and charged with endangering the welfare of a child and recklessly endangering another person. Between 2003 and 2005, DHS received at LEAST five reports of Danieal being mistreated, all describing “a helpless child sitting unattended, unkempt and dirty, in a stroller sitting in urine and feces”. They also reported that her screams were just ignored by her mother. The stroller served as a wheelchair and Danieal never left the house. Now you tell me, what kind of person can take a report like that and ignore it?
During the investigation, a tall, filthy cardboard box, big enough to hold a file cabinet, was found in Poindexter’s cubicle. The box was filled with random case files, food wrappers and unopened business envelopes (some with four year old postmarks). At the very bottom of that box, authorities found Danieal’s file. It also turns out that Danieal was not the only child to die while their cases were assigned to Poindexter.
He was actually previously suspended after a 3 week old baby died while he was handling the case in 2002. Poindexter’s “slovenly, neglectful and dangerously reckless work habits” seemed to have been the norm and were never questioned, despite children dying in his care. Poindexter was found guilty of reckless endangerment, child endangerment and perjury and was sentenced to 2 ½ to 5 years in prison.
Laura Sommerer pled guilty to child endangerment and was sentenced to 4 years probation.
During the investigation, MultiEthnic was really exposed for the frauds they are, with four people being charged with involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child. As the truth began to come out, a federal grand jury charged MultiEthnic with fraud, for falsifying bills for nonexistent or unfulfilled services.
Caseworker Julius Juma Murray was assigned to visit Danieal twice a week. Murray only visited the home 10 times, not the 46 times he forged documents for. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison for conspiracy, lying to federal agents and health care and wire fraud. Murray later pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment and was sentenced to an additional 4 to 8 years in prison. Murray faces deportation to Sierra Leone after he has completed his sentences.
Mickal Kamuvaka, the co-founder of MultiEthnic, directed employees to concoct a year’s worth of false progress reports to hide the complete neglect of Danieal’s case. Kamuvaka was convicted on charges of conspiracy, lying to federal agents, and multiple counts of health care and wire fraud. She was sentenced to 17 ½ years in prison for those convictions. Kamuvaka was also later sentenced to 25 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter, tampering with evidence, and forgery. A third set of convictions including child endangerment, reckless endangerment, perjury and criminal conspiracy resulted in a sentence of 2 ½ to 5 years. The final tally of years in prison which Kamuvaka must serve is 45 – 47 ½ years.
Solomon Manamela, also a co-founder of MultiEthnic, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for his role in the fraud on charges of conspiracy, lying to federal agents, and multiple counts of health care and wire fraud after being convicted at trial. Due to the fact that Manamela is a political refugee from South Africa, he will be deported immediately after his release. Manamela oversaw the training at MultiEthnic and told the judge “Part of me died (after Danieal did).”
Earle McNeill, yet another co-founder of MultiEthnic, was sentenced to 7 ½ years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud charges. His 7 ½ year sentence was increased to an 8 ½ year sentence after a Judge determined that he had not truthfully reported his income from MultiEthnic to a federal probation officer.
Mariam Coulibaly was sentenced to 11 years for forgery, attempting to hide $50,000 after the verdict to shield it from the court-ordered restitution, lying to the federal agents, conspiracy and multiple counts of health care and wire fraud after being convicted at trial.
Christina Nimpson pled guilty to wire fraud, health care fraud and conspiracy and was sentenced to 20 months.
Manuelita Buenaflor, another co-founder of MultiEthnic, pled guilty to wire fraud, health care fraud and conspiracy and was sentenced to 3 years in prison. Buenaflor provided a great deal of insight into the operations of MultiEthnic where she was a “quality assurance supervisor”. MultiEthnic was contracted with the Philadelphia DHS to send workers once, twice or three times a week to visit the cases with the poorest and most at risk families and children in their homes. Buenaflor spoke of the “ghost visits” the workers made and the forged documents they submitted. These “ghost visits” were so prolific that Buenaflor stated “it was just a matter of time, a matter of time before someone would die.”
Sotheary Chan pled guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy and was sentenced to 15 months in prison.
Patricia Burch pled guilty to perjury and was sentenced to 2 years in prison.
Andrea’s friends, Marie Moses and Diamond Brantley, testified saying they both visited Andrea’s home and it smelled fresh. Moses also testified that Danieal appeared “healthy” and like “her normal self”, and that the apartment was clean. This ‘visit’ she made, was the day before police and paramedics were called to the scene. Soooo … I had to ask what the going rate for perjury is these days, and it turns out it’s probation. Moses and Brantley plead guilty to perjury, Moses received 3 years probation while Brantley received 2 years probation. Andrea Miles, Marie Moses’ daughter, was also convicted of perjury, and was a minor at the time of the crime, also resulting in probation.
One person that was not charged, but deserves mention of being a deplorable human being, is Carmen Paris. She was the Assistant Health Commissioner who ordered the coroner not to release the autopsy results in an effort to keep the situation quiet. Fortunately the coroner has some morals, and the news was already getting out about the case and investigation. Paris resigned in 2008, just days after a grand jury report on Danieal’s death accused her of interfering with the investigation. I say lock her up too, the murder of a child is horrific, and attempting to cover it up in an effort to save yourself from being exposed as lazy and fraudulent, is as bad as committing the act yourself.
The Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, responded to Danieal’s death saying “As a city government, we have failed you. I am fully, thoroughly, and completely pissed off about what has happened here. The behaviours exhibited by public employees is unacceptable, and I am furious by their actions. When I think of my own daughter, and if she were in someone else’s care, and they performed the way some of these individuals did, I would kick their ass myself.” Mayor Nutter than suspended a list of people as a direct result of Danieal’s death. The people he suspended were:
- Social Service Program director Wesley Brown. Brown was suspended without pay, for 10 days. Yup, you read the right, DAYS.
- Children and Youth Division operations director Pamela Mayo. Mayo was suspended without pay for 2 days. TWO DAYS. Mayo actually testified that she didn’t even question Laura Sommerer after learning that Danieal had not seen a doctor during the 10 months that Sommerer managed the case. Once again, she was suspended for 2 days.
- Janice Walker, Dana Poindexter’s immediate supervisor. Walker falsely found reports of abuse against Danieal unsubstantiated. She also did not hold Poindexter accountable in any way for failure to do his job and for forging reports.
- Martha Poller, Janice Walker’s supervisor, admitted to falsifying records making it seem as though DHS had investigated neglect reports involving the Kelly family, finding the reports “unsubstantiated”. And what did Poller receive as a punishment for this, well she was handed a new job – Project Manager for a team that will examine child-fatality cases. WOW.
- Valerie Mond, a DHS administrator, defended Sommerer’s failure to compeleted the Family Service Plan as required in June of 2006. In truth, the report was completed AFTER Danieal’s death. She backdated reports about Danieal, and stated that this was common practice at DHS. Mond went even farther after signing a performance evaluation for Sommerer, three days before Danieal died, giving her a rating of “outstanding” based in part on her “excellent case management skills” shown by a “100% visitation and family service plan completion.” I don’t even know what to say to that, but I do want to know why Mond is not sitting in prison.
- Ingrid Hawk, assigned Laura Sommerer Danieal’s case, and completely failed to supervise or inquire as to the case in ANY way. She never discussed what services may be available for Danieal, and in fact never even looked into how severe Danieal’s disability was. She ignored that no progress was made on the case, and the only statement documented regarding Danieal’s case by Hawk was “Washington #244062 – SCOH – 9 children. The family became known to DHS due to issues of poor supervision.” I need to know, how did these people get HIRED????
- Shawn Davis, Laura Sommerer’s supervisor, failed to hold Sommerer accountable for her duties which resulted in Danieal’s case once again being overlooked, failing to save the young girl’s life.
I would like to applaud the mayor’s performance, but I am too disgusted to even feign sarcasm at this point. It is just disgusting that SOOO many people were negligent, and even worse, that they were successfully negligent without being held accountable until a child died due to the negligence.
Danieal’s life was callously thrown away, considered too much of burden by those who were supposed to love and protect her. She was failed by numerous agencies and governments, but most importantly, she was failed by her PARENTS. The bottom line is with Daniel and Andrea Kelly. When they were granted the miracle of being Danieal’s parents, they were supposed to care for her, love her, protect her, see to it that she lived a good life. The truth is that Danieal’s parents are the entire reason she was even placed under the care of the organizations that failed her so miserably.
You would think that the consequence of allowing your child to suffer so horrifically until her last breath would provoke some justice. You would think that, but you would be wrong. Daniel Kelly was convicted of felony child endangerment and was sentenced to 2 ½ to 5 years in prison. Andrea Kelly was sentenced to 20 – 40 years in prison for third degree murder and endangering the welfare of a child. A plea bargain spared her a life sentence for first degree murder. This woman should have faced a death sentence, forget life, and especially forget a plea bargain … are you kidding me??? Even in the process of trying to obtain some justice for Danieal, people failed her miserably. Did anyone EVER do right by this little girl?
My heart breaks for Danieal. The only person in Danieal’s life that did not fail her, is her brother Daniel. It is too late to save Danieal, to right that immense wrong. We will never get her back, and we will never see the beautiful person she was destined to be. Some say we can apologize to this young girl for allowing her to be forgotten, but I have to ask, is an apology really enough? Can we honestly apologize when we have not held those responsible and involved accountable to the degree in which they should be? I think it’s time that society begin to understand that an apology will only ever mean something, when we are fighting to ensure we never need to make an apology like that necessary again. We need to stand up and advocate in Danieal’s name for all of the children that are suffering as she did. We must honor that beautiful soul that Danieal was, and still is, by fighting for change. We need to fight for Danieal as though she were our own daughter. I think Danieal deserves at least that much, do you?