Grandmother of murdered Houston toddler reported abuse months earlier

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Houston ambulance

The grandmother of a 3-year-old Houston girl whose June 2018 death was ruled a homicide told KHOU-11 she reported signs of abuse of the toddler months earlier.

A’lona “Halo” Williams died after being transported to the hospital last June. Medical examiners found evidence of extreme sexual trauma and blood in her intestines. The girl’s mother – not named in the report – said the injuries were from a car accident, the TV station reported.

Mikisha Vaughn told KHOU that she first attempted to report the abuse of her granddaughter to Child Protective Services in January 2018, after Halo visited her home wearing a splint over a swollen arm. Halo’s mother said the injury came from a trampoline accident, Vaughn said.

Other injuries, including to Halo’s back, leg, eye, followed, according to Vaughn, who told the TV station that CPS did not return her calls. After Vaughn discovered belt marks on Halo in March 2018, she told a reporter, her daughter told her that her boyfriend had given Halo “whoopings.”

KHOU reported that CPS began investigating possible abuse in January 2018 when Halo was treated for a broken arm at Texas Children’s Hospital. The girl’s mother agreed to let CPS place Halo and her two other children at the home of her boyfriend’s parents, according to the case files. But KHOU pointed out that both of those parents have criminal records, including burglary and assault charges, which means the placement violated CPS policies.

CPS officials told the TV station the agency doesn’t conduct interviews about fatalities but did say that records were handed over to the Houston Police Department after Halo’s death. HPD told KHOU the case has been assigned to its homicide division.

CPS has official custody of Halo’s brothers, but they are living with Vaughn, who is seeking permanent custody. 

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