Parents call for investigation after toddler’s death in foster care

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– The parents of a 22-month-old girl who died while in the custody of Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services are calling for an investigation and accountability.

Dayou Bruce and William Sizemore, Jr. held a news conference with their attorney Thursday morning in front of the Jane Edna Hunter building in Cleveland.

Attorney Stanley Jackson said children and family services placed Mandisa Sizemore with a foster mother on May 15 against the objections of her parents. On June 16, the little girl was left unattended when she choked on playing cards and died, Jackson said.

The parents were not notified of Mandisa’s death for 48 hours, according to their attorney.

“Prior to that day this family had pleaded and protested, and spoke with this institution about previous behavior and abuse in that home,” Jackson said. “We don’t believe this was an isolated incident.”

Jackson said the family reported other incidents to children and family services, but was ignored.

According to the news release from the law firm, the parents were going to speak for the first time during the news conference, however, they did not address the media.

It is unclear as to why the child was placed in foster care.

Earlier this week, Cuyahoga County approved a $3 million settlement with the father of a 4-year-old Aniya Day-Garrett, who died after suffering abuse at the hands of her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. Mickhal Garrett sued Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services following the little girl’s death, claiming the agency ignored the signs of abuse while he fought for custody.

Her death and her father’s activism prompted changes to the department of children and family services.

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