Marchella Pierce lived to the ripe old age of four. At the time of her death, she weighed 18 pounds. She had toxic levels of antihistamines in her body. Her mother has been charged with a homicide related to her death.
Child Abuse Syndrome
The chief medical examiner’s office has stated that Marchella Pierce died of “child abuse syndrome with acute drug poisoning, blunt impact injuries, malnutrition and dehydration”.
The term child abuse syndrome indicates that the abuse of this young child took place over a considerable period of time. She was found dead in her mother’s apartment on September 2, 2010. Her mother, Carlotta Brett-Pierce, has been charged with second degree assault, endangering the welfare of a child, unlawful imprisonment and reckless endangerment. Due to the child’s death, it is anticipated that the criminal charges will be increased.
History of Abuse
This young child had several physical and health problems since her birth on April 30, 2006. She spent a significant portion of her life in hospitals. It has been alleged in the criminal complaint that her mother struck her with a belt and a video box. A witness has indicated that the mother latched the girl to bed with twine and forced her to take sleeping pills.
A grand jury has been formed to investigate this case. The grand jury is also looking into the actions of the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). They are the agency charged with investigating child abuse in the City of New York. They should have been monitoring this girls family due to her numerous hospitalizations.
In testimony before the New York City Council, John B. Mattingly, the Child Services Commissioner, has stated that the case “reveals systematic problems in the agency that persisted even after reforms instituted following the 2006 beating of a seven-year-old girl, Nixmary Brown”. The agency claimed they are addressing the issues raised by this case and hopefully they will be able to prevent future situations of this nature.
This seems to this writer to be an outrageous failure by ACS to fulfill its obligations to protect children.
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