A mother has been accused of taunting her teenage daughter as the girl committed suicide and streamed her death on Facebook Live.
Foster child Naika Venant’s suicide may have been watched by her mother, Gina Caze, who allegedly told the teen she was “crying wolf” and “life goes on” in messages reportedly to be from her on the social media website.
Hundreds of people watched the 14-year-old’s three-hour broadcast – with some urging her to take her own life as others pleaded with her to stop.
One of the users who allegedly encouraged and criticised the girl and didn’t bother to seek help was a woman called Gina Alexis, the name used by Caze, according to child abuse complaint.
The complaint was reported to the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) around two weeks after Naika hanged herself at her foster family’s home in Miami in the early hours of January 22.
A report release this week claimed that the user called Gina Alexis did not seek help and posted comments that could be “mentally injurious to her suicidal child”, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Moments before the teen took her own life the user wrote: “#ADHD games played u sad little DCF custody jit that’s why u where u at for this dumb s**t n more u keep crying wolf u dead u will get buried life goes on after a jit that doesn’t listen to there parents trying to be grown seeking boys and girls attention instead of her books.”
“Jit” is often used as a slang term meaning “young thug”.
A friend reported the Facebook Live broadcast to police but gave them the wrong address. When officers arrived at that home they were given the correct address to the teen’s foster parents.
However when police arrived at about 3am they found Nakia hanging in the bathroom as her foster parents slept in their bedroom.
Caze has denied the abuse allegation, with her lawyer, Howard Talenfeld, telling reporters that she believed the suicide was fake and her comments were made after her daughter had died.
He said: “She unequivocally denies she was online while Naika was alive.”
Days before her death Naika, a Grade 7 student, told her case manager that she was sad that her mother didn’t want her back.
She feared that she would remain a foster child until she became an adult.
The DCF report found that Naika entered foster care in January 2009 amid allegations that she was being physically abused by her mother.
She was referred through an organisation that helps sexually abused children.
The report stated that she displayed inappropriate sexual behaviour and disclosed that she had been exposed to pornograhic videos and slept in the same rooms as her mother’s boyfriends.
She returned to her mother’s home in June 2010 and returned to foster care in April 2014. However she was returned to her mother by her court despite opposition from social workers and her guardian ad litem, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
In 2015 her mother relinquished custody of the teen, saying she no longer wanted her.
Over eight years Nakia spent 28 months in foster care, and once stayed in 14 different homes over a 16-month period.
Caze’s lawyer claimed that Naika didn’t get the help she needed because she was failed by the system of privatisation.
Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at email@example.com.