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Grandmother: Baby would be alive if CPS had listened to claims of abuse

Published On: Aug 03 2012 12:03:14 AM CDT
Updated On: Aug 03 2012 04:51:18 AM CDT

ABC-7's Ashlie Rodriguez reports.

EL PASO, Texas -

By ABC-7 Reporter Ashlie Rodriguez

Mary Beckley thinks her granddaughter’s death could have been prevented.

Eleven-month-old Jayla Beckley was taken from Beckley’s home and placed with foster parent Antonio Lopez in June.

Lopez, 27, was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with capital murder after allegedly taking Jayla Beckley out of her crib last Saturday, putting her on the floor, and stomping on the baby's chest, according to court documents. She died later that day.

Beckley said she was caring for Jayla, as well as her two grandsons, when Child Protective Services found her unfit. She maintains Jayla was well cared for and there was no justification for removing her.

She also said after Jayla was removed she visited her at Lopez's home and claimed she saw signs of abuse and told CPS workers.

"That baby could have still been alive if they would of went in there on the first time they saw child abuse," Beckley said. "The second time I saw her someone had cut the hair out of the back of her head and they had braided her hair so tight. She was in pain. And I got pictures of that too. And we got pictures of where she was cigarette burned on the side. I made (caseworker) Ms. Speilman take pictures of that and I told her you will handle this. You will handle this situation. 'I'll look into it,' she said. Look into it? I want it handled!"

Beckley is raising her grandchildren because she said her daughter has a drug addiction. But she is only the legal guardian of her two grandsons, not Jayla.

After caseworkers reported concerns about Beckley, including her health, the children's behavior at school, an incident where Beckley left the children in the car for 20 minutes while she bought food and diapers, and concerns about Jayla's biological mother, Lachreasha Beckley visiting Beckley's home.

CPS removed Jayla because "...after extensively working with the family, they could not guarantee the safety of the child and had to remove her."

Beckley's claims Jayla was abused in the foster home are currently a part of the CPS on-going investigation, but Beckley said it's too late for that.

CPS officials said they are shocked by Antonio Lopez's actions, who underwent rigorous background checks and are investigating what happened before Jayla's death.

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