Re: A Child Returns to a Reportedly Abusive Home — and Dies

After the death of A'anya Cantley, Children's Protective Services spokeswoman Estella Olguin said the child's attorney ad litem (who also represented A'anya's five-year-old brother), had recommended the children be returned to their mother.

"We were involved before and we had our concerns about these children going back to this home, especially because they had these severe injuries," Olguin told the Press. "They're so young and vulnerable and we [were] adamant about these children not going back to this home."

However, Myrna Slack-Wilson, the attorney ad litem, says there was no evidence that Keeshaunder Cantley caused the children's injuries. Here is an excerpt of her statement to the Press. -- Craig Malisow

"CPS and I had a common goal, and that was to reunite the children with the mother — even though CPS did not want the children returned immediately."

"Based on the fact the mother was not home at the time A'anya was burned and there was no evidence presented at the hearing that the mother caused other injuries, I did not believe the state met its burden to keep the children from the mother's custody. I made the recommendation and believed, at the time, it was in the best interest of the children to be placed with the mother, as long as the boyfriend was not around the children and the mother was provided services through CPS."

"My heart grieves daily and constantly for the loss of A'anya Cantley. I truly believed because the testimony was against the boyfriend and also based on my heart-to-heart discussion with the mother, that as long as the mother was monitored and the boyfriend was not present, it was in the best interest for the children to be with their mother."

Read Craig Malisow's breaking coverage of this story here.

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