In early 2010, 22-month-old Danika Charles of Powell County was admitted to the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital with hair loss and an ulcer in her mouth
, according to a report by state child-protection workers.
While at the hospital, the toddler developed bruises, and she cried when her mother came into the room
, the report said. Hospital officials called the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services to see whether they should file a request for services, but the referral was never made, the report said.
On Feb. 19, 2010, Danika was rushed to an unnamed regional hospital, where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy showed she had broken bones, a detached aorta, a liver laceration and multiple bruises,
according to a review of her death by the state's social services system.
She bore knuckle marks
, and her hair had been pulled with such force that she had a large hematoma on the top of her head
, the report said. . . .
Danika's mother, Jessica Charles of Clay City, was indicted for murder
, accused of beating Danika to death. She pleaded not guilty. A trial date has not been set, her attorney, Tucker Richardson, said Thursday.
Richardson said he had not seen the cabinet's review of the case, but he disagreed with many of the findings, including that Danika cried when her mother entered Danika's room at UK. He said the state report was in direct conflict with the child's medical records
In its review of the death, cabinet officials found that UK did not report its concerns because the family had no history of abuse
. . . .
The cabinet is working with an organization called Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky to achieve better collaboration between medical professionals and child-protection workers, spokeswoman Jill Midkiff said Thursday.
Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky officials meet with medical personnel to promote communication and understanding. The cabinet incorporates feedback from the organization, which has a state contract, into staff training, she said.
The internal reviews released Monday highlight a number of other communications breakdowns between child-protection workers and medical professionals. . . .