by Mikaya Thurmond
With autopsy results revealing new and old brain bleeding and a body covered in bruises, local doctors say those injuries indicate a horrible cause of death. "With retinal hemorrhages there, that is also a sign of shaking baby syndrome. You think there would probably be some abuse in the past and might've been some in the present," says Dr. Teresa Baysden.
And with such a troubled life, either is possible for the little girl known as Sahara Palmer to her foster home and Sahara Weatherspoon on her death certificate.
The Georgia DHS's first report of abuse was about a year ago when she and her 6-year-old brother, reportedly, observed their father, Ellis Weatherspoon, stabbing their mother AND setting their trailer on fire in an attempt to kill all three. The children the report says were placed in DFCS custody due to extreme domestic violence.
But after the February incident, things didn't seem to get any better. The children bounced from foster home to foster home.
Eventually, they went back to their biological parents, but it was soon after when there was another run in with the law. The DHS report says one of the parents was arrested in September 2013 with meth and the children in the car. But, it appears DFACS was the last to know and left the children in their custody until they "discovered it through a newspaper article. "
From there, the kids remained in state custody handed off to at least three different case managers none of which were sharing the concerns or reports of abuse in their case files.