The younger brother of a murdered 8-year-old Detroit girl saw their mother stab his sister to death, according to documents obtained by The Detroit News.
On Dec. 30, Tameria Greene‘s 4-year-old brother told an interviewer at a a child advocacy center that their mother “had a big knife and cut his sister and his mother killed Ti-Ti.” The mother, Semeria Greene, has been charged with felony murder and first-degree child abuse after allegedly stabbing her daughter in their apartment. If convicted, she faces life in prison.
Greene has four surviving children. Court officials have authorized a state petition to revoke the 26-year-old mother’s parental rights to them. Her boyfriend and father of two of the children, Jovan Mull, has been ordered to one supervised visit per week. Mull has been accused of being abusive towards Greene and covering up her alleged abusive behavior towards Tameria. He admitted lying to a social worker in October about bruises the worker noticed on Tameria. He told the social worker that she was beat up at school but later admitted that the mother beat her.
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The murder of the young child sent shock waves throughout the Detroit–especially since their were allegations of abuse and neglect that date back to October. Some of the abuse the girl allegedly suffered included biting and bruises. Both the state Department of Human Services and Wayne County court officials are investigating why the girl remained in the home.
Here are more details behind what went wrong:
Greene had her children temporarily taken away from her in 2010, after police found them home alone with no food in the house. A state document in the case said Mull “uses drugs” and his “rights have been terminated to 2 children.”
In the amended petition filed Monday, the Department of Human Services said on Dec. 23 it received a referral alleging Greene was improperly supervising her children, threatening harm and neglecting them.
Child Protective Services tried to verify the children’s well-being that day, but Greene initially was uncooperative, the petition said.
She eventually let the team observe the children, who were “running around in the home” without visible injures or bruises, but refused to let anyone speak with Tameria privately, the document said.
On Dec. 27, a CPS specialist saw the children again and noted they were “clean and dressed appropriately,” the petition said. The next day, a worker “observed no visible injuries or bruises.”
Two days later, DHS officials were told Tameria had been stabbed in the chest.
Jeanne Fowler, founder of the child advocacy agency Big Family of Michigan, said officials are too busy “pointing fingers.”
“Nobody wants to take the blame,” she said. “But someone allowed that child to die. From what I’ve seen, people in the court and the DHS knew the child was being abused, but they returned her to the home.”
More than a month after a social worker saw bruises and bite marks on Tameria, a hearing was held on Nov. 23. Transcripts of that hearing show Referee Richard Smart refused to remove Tameria and her brothers from the allegedly abusive environment in their home, despite requests from the state.
Smart denied the request because he said an emergency motion had not been filed, although state workers repeatedly said the children were at risk.
Currently, Greene’s four children are in state custody. Tameria’s funeral is scheduled for Wednesday.