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Estate of Ta'Naejah McCloud files wrongful death suit against Cuyahoga County DCFS

Posted at 3:39 PM, Sep 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-25 18:51:00-04

The estate of a 5-year-old girl who was beaten to death at the hands of her mother and her partner last year has filed a lawsuit against the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services for allegedly failing to investigate abuse claims prior to her death.

The suit claims that Ta'Naejah McCloud was "brutally killed while those responsible for protecting her either looked away or looked on and did nothing."

The suit goes on to say that it "seeks to hold accountable the defendants who are the individuals, professionals and the public and private agencies charged with protecting, investigating and providing necessary services to Ta'Naejah."

Ta'Naejah's mother, Tequila Crump, and her partner, Ursula Owens, were found guilty on multiple charges earlier this summer in connection with the child's death.  

RELATED: Mother, girlfriend convicted of beating death of 5-year-old daughter in 2017

Owens was convicted of reckless homicide, murder, felonious assault and multiple counts of endangering children. Crump was convicted of reckless homicide and endangering children.

Crump was sentenced to 13 years in prison. Owens was given 25 years to life in prison.

RELATED: Crump was sentenced to 13 years in prison. Owens was sentenced to 25 years to life

According to court records, 5-year-old Ta’Naejah was beaten inside her Bryant Avenue home by Crump and Owens on St. Patrick's Day 2017.

The girl's older brother called police after witnessing the abuse. The teen later told News 5 that he watched his mother, Ownens, and Ta'Naejah's mother hit the girl in the head repeatedly.

Prior to the girl's death, the Cuyahoga County Department of Child and Family Services received two calls about abuse at the home, but said the "allegations were not substantiated." 

RELATED: Social workers visited home 8 times before 5-year-old girl was killed

Records show that social workers visited the home on eight different occasions over a five-week period, but according to a Cuyahoga County Department of Child and Family Services spokesperson, there was "not enough evidence for the court to order removal" of the 5-year-old at that time.

RELATED: Children and Family Services first warned about abuse five months before 5-year-old's death

The lawsuit seeks both compensatory and punitive damages for "the horrific harms done to Ta'Naejah and her preventable death."

You can read the entire lawsuit below: