An Emory University law student and political candidate was arrested last Friday, along with her husband, for allegedly starving and beating her 2-year-old foster daughter Laila Marie Daniel to death, according to PEOPLE. On November 17, Henry County police officials originally arrived at the home of 27-year-old Jennifer Rosenbaum and her husband Joseph Rosenbaum – both of Mcdonough, Georgia – on Lincoln Terrace about a child choking on food.
However, upon their arrival, they suspected child abuse as Daniel appeared to have suffered from “broken bones in her arms and legs and bruises all over her body.” Further information surrounding the case has yet to be released as the Henry County Police Department stated via email that they were “unable to make any public comments in reference to the specifics of the case at this time” as they were “preparing a case for prosecution and awaiting preliminary hearings.”
— CBS46 (@cbs46) December 7, 2015
Sources say the child later succumbed to her injuries at a local hospital, and an arrest warrant was subsequently issued for the former military police offficer and her husband. Police officials believe that she starved the foster child as she failed to feed the toddler in “quantities necessary to sustain an adequate body weight.” Jennifer is also being accused of striking her foster daughter in the “abdomen with such force the child’s pancreas was transected.” As a result, the child apparently went into shock due to the significant amount of blood loss.
Just before the child’s death, she and her 4-year-old sister, who also showed signs of abuse, were removed from their parents’ home due to “safety concerns” and was placed in the care of the Rosenbaums, a place the Division of Children and Family deemed to be safe. It is unclear how long the foster children lived with the couple, but documents stated that Daniel’s “injuries occurred sometime between June 13 and November.” The Rosenbaums attorney stated that the charges against the couple are a mistake and that his clients are innocent, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Former state child advocate Tom Rawlings stated the “tragic outcome in this case raises questions as to the state’s screening of the Rosenbaum and the monitoring of the children during their time with the couple. The whole purpose is to protect the child from imminent danger. If we do something that presents more risk for the child, then we’re doing something wrong.”
In a statement, the Division of Children and Family stated their number one priority is the “safety of Georgia’s children. To that end, each of the division’s policies and procedures is developed with the goal of ensuring children are safe and are with caregivers who will protect them and provide for them.”
“Placing a child with relatives or caregivers who are close to the family is widely recognized as a best practice in child welfare that potentially limits trauma for children, because it offers a sense of stability in a turbulent time and allows a child to stay connected to his or her community. All potential replacement resources must undergo a vigorous background review.”
Jennifer’s former military boss Mike Dudgeon stated that according to his experience, “she was a great success story” as she had a “successful stint in the military and seemed to be hitting on all cylinders. There’s nothing in my experience that would have ever foreshadowed this. You always see when the talk to the friend or neighbor who’d say, ‘I can’t believe it.’ Now I’m the guy saying that.”
Jennifer Rosenbaum is currently being held at the Henry County jail on charges of “murder, aggravated assault, child cruelty in the second degree and two counts of child cruelty in the first degree.” Her husband Joseph is also being held on child cruelty charges.
[Image via Henry County Police Department]