Family of Glenara Bates files federal wrongful death lawsuit aga - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Family of Glenara Bates files federal wrongful death lawsuit against county, workers

Glenara Bates. (Provided photo) Glenara Bates. (Provided photo)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

The grandmother of a toddler who died in March has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Hamilton County Department of Jobs and Family Services.

The coroner ruled 2-year-old Glenara Bates died of repeated abuse and starvation. The federal lawsuit alleges county workers failed to act in the “best interests of the child” and “failed to properly investigate signs of abuse.” 

The lawsuit alleges county JFS workers “made the decision to place Glenara Bates back with the parents” despite the toddler and her siblings had previously been removed from her parents’ household because of “abuse and neglect.” The lawsuit also alleges workers failed to report the “obvious case of child abuse to law enforcement.”

Hamilton County Commissioners, several JFS workers who had been assigned to Bates’ case and the child’s parents are also named defendants in the lawsuit. 

Andrea Bradley and Glen Bates, Glenara’s mother and father, are charged with aggravated murder charges and face the death penalty. Bradley was pregnant with her eighth child when she was arrested.

At a press conference earlier this year, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters described 2-year-old Glenara Bates' death as “horrific” and said county workers “had dropped the ball.”

The Hamilton County Department of Jobs and Family Services declined FOX19 NOW's request for comment and referred us to the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office. 

"Since the criminal case is pending, this office does not want to comment on the matter," said Hamilton County Coroner Chief Administrator Andrea Hatten Thursday, 

Glenara weighed only 13 pounds when she was taken on March 28 to Cincinnati Children's Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. The coroner ruled starvation and blunt force trauma as the cause of death.

The child had sustained bite marks, bruises, belt marks and broken teeth over an extended period of time. Bradley allegedly tried to sew the toddler's head up with a needle and thread before taking her to the hospital.

The coroner said it was unclear when Glenara had last been fed or given anything to drink.

“There's no doubt in my mind this child was tortured for most of her pitiful, pitifully short life,” Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco said shortly after the toddler’s death.

Court documents obtained by FOX19 NOW show a long history of alleged abuse by the mother. Andrea Bradley had custody of her five children at the same time she was accused of abusing 2-year-old Glenara Bates on multiple occasions leading up to her death.

Authorities said Bradley, 28, and Glen Bates, Glenara's father, dropped, whipped and bit the girl. Bradley allegedly tried to sew the toddler's head up with a needle and thread before taking her to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The lawsuit also names county JFS director, Moira Weir. In an exclusive interview with FOX19 NOW in May, Weir described the case as “devastating.”

“I think this is a good chance for us to talk about how can we as a community come together and meet the needs of the children in this community,” Weir said during the interview.

Here is a timeline of Bradley's record with Jobs and Family Services, according to juvenile court documents:

2007: A grandmother takes custody of one of Bradley's sons, claiming in juvenile court documents the child lived in an unsafe environment.

2010: Officials find a gun and drug scales inside Bradley's home after several men were arrested there in August, documents state. Mother and children weren't home but Bradley allegedly knew the men were trafficking drugs out of the home. JFS investigated two allegations of child abuse by Bradley that month.

Bradley's son tests positive for Marijuana after she gives birth in late 2010, documents state.

June 2012: Bradley's daughter is found with bruises so severe that she was having a hard time walking, according to court documents. The girl allegedly told authorities she had been whipped.

October 2012: Bradley is pregnant with her fifth child when Jobs and Family Services takes custody of her four children.

February 2013: Glenara Bates is born and her mother agrees to grant custody of the child to Jobs and Family Services.

August 2013: The court decides it is in the children's best interest to return to their mother's care, citing the fact that she has completed substance abuse treatment and parenting education. Jobs and Family Services issues protective order conditions mandating she maintain sobriety and complete mental health therapy.

December 2013: The protective orders issued three months earlier are dropped.

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