The Law's Role in Frederick's Deadly Child Abuse Case

- FREDERICK, Md. - Last Friday night, first responders were called to the Williams home for an unresponsive 21-month-old baby girl, who later died from injures from suspected child abuse.

Court documents show that last Friday wasn't the first time the infant was abused.

States Attorney Charlie Smith said when Anayah was just four-months-old, her skull was fractured, which later caused her to develop cerebral palsy.

"It's something that was a medical consequence we believe of the initial abuse. She did develop cerebral palsy based upon those injuries," said Smith.

After the first offense, Anayah was taken from her parents and put in foster care. Reports show she was healthy during that time. After spending nearly two years in her foster home, child protective services then initiated the reunification process with Anayah's parents, Frankie and Stephanie Williams.

Federal law requires child protective services to consider reunification as a first choice in child abuse scenarios. An alternative that can often times result in fatal outcomes.

"It's a custody situation. CPS was involved with it. They do a home visit, they do a complete investigation for the courts. It's ultimately up to the judge whenever they're going to reunite an abused child with the birth parents," said Smith.

Just three weeks after the family was reunited, Anayah was dead.

Her father, Frankie Williams has been charged with child abuse resulting in death. Her mother, Stephanie Williams was charged with child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury.

The pretrial conference for Frankie Williams is on April 10, at 1 p.m. Stephanie Williams' is on April 16, at 8:30 a.m. in the morning. 

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