Neglect is one of the most difficult allegations of child abuse to prove. Neglect is chronic, ongoing, and only when it is extreme, or if the impact can be measured, can something be done, but even then, it is difficult. There are no laws that can be enacted that can make a mother choose a child over a love interest. In cases like these, the child suffers, just as children are exposed to love interests not of their choosing.
Hailey Dunn feared Shawn Adkins. In failing to protect Hailey, her mother even knew enough to call police on the violent boyfriend, who made good on threats of violence against Hailey. The mother's excuse? "He only threatened me; not her" as if this would make a difference. The importing of a dangerous man, including child porn, came into a household already ripe with the neglect of substance abuse. Brining in a pedophile; and a violent one at that, was the last step.
Haleigh Cummings did not choose to bring Misty and Tommy Croslin into her life. This was thrust upon her, as was the life of drugs and neglect. Even in creating an alibi, Ronald Cummings showed how Haleigh's needs were subordinate to the selfish desires of his own, or those of his juvenile live in girlfriend when he said he stopped a few hours before dawn to get beer for himself and Misty. Who would be able to get up 3 hours later with Haleigh and Junior?
Neglect killed Haleigh, eventually. Misty and Tommy's parents were too busy being high to take care of them, and they were left to their own devices which led to drugs and sexual perversion; and the eventual end of Haleigh's life.
When Hank Croslin and his wife were sitting on the couch getting high, rather than working at jobs and helping their children with their homework, they were contributing to the eventual death of Haleigh, as well as putting more parasites on society. Misty and Tommy are in prison and there they do not have to earn their keep. They are the responsible of taxpayers who, against their will, must pay for Misty, for example, to have a therapist, or medical care, or dental care. In prison, Misty will get better dental care than Celina Cass' mother cared to.
Sure, her mother got cable TV and whatever else she wanted; above the needs of Celina. I can only imagine the difficulty school teachers had talking to Celina's mother, walking on eggshells saying "Now, Mrs. Cass, we don't want to be judgmental, but the children make fun of Celina's smile, and if you only bring her to the dentist on Main St..." and on it goes.
Neglect is difficult to prove.
Here is how:
Let's say CPS workers, along with teachers, and a caring relative or two, confronted Mrs. Cass about getting Celina to a dentist. They ran into a wall of excuses, so the social workers arranged with a kind-hearted dentist to lower his bill, and got tax payer money to pay for it, but it takes 3 or 4 appointments total, and Mrs. Cass, tied up with her nutty husband, doesn't show; so much so that the dentist has to drop her as a patient and the entire process starts again.
Finally, exhausted from failed attempts and heartbroken teachers' complaints about trying to stop kids from ridiculing her, CPS petitions the court for custody, so that they can get her dental care. Since it is appearance and not painful, the court date is set for 2 weeks.
Just before court, she gets her to an initial appointment, and, by the way, gets the dentist's secretary to sign a letter saying "Celina is now a patient here" which is presented to the states AG who now says we must drop the court case and monitor the mother.
Neglect is where a parent can do the bare minimum and get away with it. No law can make a parent love her child; nor can a law make grandparents check up on a child: see Orlando, Florida.
I don't know if this is the case of Celina Cass, but I do know that I would go without food before I allowed my 11 year old daughter to go to school needed dental care. I know dentists who would see her for free without a moment's hesitation. They don't need the government to tell them to treat her; they would do it out of decency.
CPS is not to be blamed for Hailey Dunn's death. If Colorado City ever gets its act together, we will likely find the killers and the one who's neglect and subsequent cover up will be punished.
CPS tried with Haleigh Cummings but Ronald Cummings, by his own admission, signed written agreements, under the threat of losing custody, to stop hitting Haleigh in the face. No laws could have stopped Ronald Cummings from his sexual attraction to very young girls, which led him to bring in Misty Croslin, who then brought her brother, Tommy, into Haleigh's life.
Haleigh never asked for any of them.
Could they have placed Haleigh with relatives? Of course, but with whom? Could we find anyone to pass a drug test, and if so, could we find anyone with a notion of how to protect a child from its own father, whom she likely cried for?
Abused children prefer their own parents to strangers and will cling, tightly, to the abuser.
It is a very strong bond, but it is not always a healthy bond.
Celina Cass did not ask for her step father. Some court found him "unfit" to stand trial? Yet, Celina's mother found him "fit" to share a home with. Now we hear that he has sex offender siblings, also with access to Celina.
Celina died of Neglect.
Whatever the actual cause of death, it will likely be traced by to Neglect. She was last "seen" on a computer at 9PM.
Does your 11 year old daughter go on a computer at 9PM by herself? If yours is like mine, even in the summer, she was safely in bed by 9PM, having read herself to sleep.
Why would someone so violent be allowed in Celina's home in the first place?
Children die of Neglect.
So many of the cases we have covered we have found issues of Neglect.
Caylee Anthony's own grandmother said her mother was a sociopath, yet she did not care enough, for almost 2 years, to even bother to check on the supposed Nanny. Caylee meant little to her family then, but now she is the source of trips, vacations, and more money than most people dream of. Yet, they couldn't be bothered to make even a single phone call to check up on her, when she was said to be having a sleep over at a stranger's home, rather than be with family. No one cared.
Haleigh was left in the hands of a drugged, spaced out immoral teenager, and her perverted brother, who conspired together to cover up a crime they both engaged in.
And so it goes.
Hailey's mother chooses a violent pedophile over Hailey's own safety.
Celina's mother brings in a violent schizophrenic into Celina's own home.
Desiree can't even speak to Kaine Horman, knowing now of the hatred that Terri Horman had for a little boy, yet Kaine was slow to respond; too slow.
How many kids go unwatched at parks, slip into the bathroom, only to suffer for a life time for a moment's neglect, where a molester put hands upon the child?
Good parenting is exhausting. It is a small window of opportunity to nurture and protect, and set a foundation in.
It is not a time for laziness, selfishness, nor abdication.
The first time a woman says "I know the police are wrong! It was that b@#$% of an ex wife made it up" the child is in trouble.
A father who says, "I'm not emotionally capable" of helping locate his daughter isn't deserving of the title, "father."
Motherhood is a duty. It is not something to market or seek financial gain of, nor is it a publicity stunt or a book deal.
God does not call any of us to sacrifice duty; only our privileges in life.
We don't have the right to expose our children to danger, even if the danger or risk means our happiness because eventually, their pain will become our pain.
To Celina, the pain of having other kids stare, or make fun, is something that bothers all of us. It didn't have to be that way. There are too many kind dentists and kind and caring neighbors, citizens, teachers, and others, who would have been glad to make her life just a little bit better.
For now, however, it is too late.
No matter who ends up facing justice for her death, we will likely learn more and more, of how neglected she was.