WHITMAN, Mass. — A vigil was held Sunday in Whitman for a 2-year-old girl who died after her she was found bruised and unresponsive on a couch in December. Her mother has been charged in connection to her death.
She was only 2 years old, but it was clear on Sunday that Lyric Farrell left an impression on those who knew her. In fact those close to the girl told Boston 25 News that they tried reporting alleged abuse before she died – but that no one would listen.
“It kills me because there were so many things that could have stopped this from happening,” said Michelle Carter, a daycare teacher. “Like, there were people that could have stopped this that chose not to listen.”
Several of her daycare staff are now speaking out, saying the red flags were there that something was wrong. They claim they notified the department of children and families and said that they were concerned about the child’s safety at home.
“I used to bring Lyric to the DCF workers, to get into the car during the visits – and she had struggled,” said Jackie Freestone, the general manager of the daycare center where Lyric attended. “She would cry, hold on to me, and I hated having to send her, but I had to.”
Farrell was taken off life support several days after she was found bruised and unresponsive on a couch. Whitman Police say that she suffered a brain hemorrhage from a non-accidental head injury. Her mother, Shaniqua Leonard, was ultimately charged with reckless endangerment of a child in connection to the death.
“We tried to explain to DCF and different people that maybe it wasn’t in her best interest,” Freestone said. “I understand the whole process, but it’s just hard.”
Farrell’s daycare family wore t-shirts in her memory on Sunday. Those shirts were adorned with purple ribbons, Farrell’s favorite color. They say they’ll remember her love of dance and music.
“I’m a mother myself and I can’t even imagine,” Freestone said. “And I feel badly that we couldn’t help her.”
Lyric Farrell’s funeral is scheduled for Wednesday. According to a judge, her mother is allowed to attend, but cannot have any contact with her six other children.
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