CLEVELAND — Mickhal Garrett, the father of slain 4-year-old Aniya Day-Garrett, plans to file a lawsuit against Cuyahoga County’s Department of Children and Family Services, according to his attorney.
“Mickhal wants to make sure that everyone is held accountable for the tragic death of Aniya,” his attorney Paul Grieco said on Garrett’s behalf.
Earlier this week, Aniya’s mother Sierra Day was sentenced to life in prison for Aniya’s death. Day’s boyfriend, Deonte Lewis was also sentenced to life in prison but is eligible for parole after serving 20 years.
Aniya died from a stroke caused by a blow to the head about 10 days to two weeks before the day she was taken to the hospital, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Her death was ruled a homicide. Day and Lewis were arrested and later indicted.
Aniya’s day care documented injuries that showed a pattern of abuse going back to 2015. The day care called police in May 2017 after seeing blood coming from Aniya's ear.
On Feb. 26, 2018, Garrett and his attorney were present during a pre-trial custody hearing for Aniya. Garrett said he had contacted Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services, and a social worker was involved in the case, according to court documents.
The court set another hearing for March 15, 2018, noting that a home evaluation would be issued by DCFS.
But on March 11, 2018, authorities responded to the Cultural Garden Apartments in Euclid. First responders found Aniya unresponsive. She was transported to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead.
During the murder trial, a Cuyahoga County deputy medical examiner testified that Aniya suffered from chronic physical abuse and neglect.
Last year, a 21-page report compiled by state officials found that Cuyahoga County DCFS failed at seemingly every turn in its investigation into Aniya’s abuse before her death.
"We want them held accountable. [DCFS] failed me,” Garrett told News 5 in 2018. “They failed us all! Nobody should have to go through this.”