Mom Charged in 3-Year-Old's Death Just Days After Child Abuse Charges Dropped

A mother has been charged in the death of her 3-year-old daughter -- only six months after she was arrested on child abuse charges involving two of her other children. Katlyn Marin, 25, of Nashua, New Hampshire, and her boyfriend, Michael Rivera, were charged in May with abusing two young boys living in their home. There were reportedly five children living in the home, and Rivera was the father of one of them. On November 25, Marin called 911 to say that her 3-year-old daughter, Brielle Gage, was unresponsive. She later died at the hospital.

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An autopsy determined Brielle had died from blunt force trauma to the head and authorities charged Marin with second-degree murder.

It was only in May that Marin and Rivera were charged with abusing two children in their care, an 8-year-old boy and 6-year-old boy (it's unclear if Rivera is the biological father of either of these children).

Investigators said that the children were beaten with belts and the 8-year-old was forced to kneel for an hour. They also noted that four of the children in the home, including a 9-month-old, were covered with bruises. The 6-year-old reportedly told police he was only allowed to eat once a day and would hide food he had found.

The children were placed in foster care, and it seems they would have been safe then. Instead, within months, all of them were back home, even though the charges were still pending. Brielle's paternal grandmother, Sharon Boucher, says she tried to get custody of Brielle, but was "ignored" by children's services and the court.

On November 20, charges against Marin were dropped. Five days later, Brielle was dead.

"The court system failed my granddaughter," Boucher wrote on Facebook.

Marin is now jailed awaiting a probable cause hearing.

Sounds tragically like the ball was dropped on these babies. The state should have done more to protect them -- for their parents allegedly did not at all.

Boucher says she hopes to use the circumstances surrounding Brielle's tragic death to make changes within New Hampshire's children's services division. Unfortunately, it often takes the brutal death of a child to make the kinds of changes that can benefit other children down the road.

 

Image via Justice for Brielle Eternity Gage/Facebook

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