Mother allegedly taunts daughter during Facebook Live suicide, report says

Naika Venant had been abused, report says

By Paradise Afshar - Digital Editor , Erica Rakow - Reporter

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - For 14 years, Naika Venant  sought the love of a mother who habitually rejected her. In April, her mother relinquished custody, citing that she no longer wanted Naika in her home.

In the days before she hanged herself in a bathroom, Naika told a case manager she was sad her mom didn't want her back and that she was going to "age out" of the foster care system. 

Hundreds watched Naika's suicide on Facebook Live and her mother, Gina Caze, was allegedly among those who watched and commented, according to the Florida Department of Children & Families. While many pleaded with the teen not to end her life, it was reported to DCF  that a person who may have been the teen's mother, taunted the Naika. 

Using the name "Gina Alexis," the following statement was allegedly written by Caze in the moments leading to Naika's death, according to DCF. 

"#ADHD games played u sad little DCF custody jit (SIC) that's why u where u at for this dumb s--- n more u keep crying wolf (SIC) u dead u will get buried life goes on after a jit that doesn't listen to their parents trying to be grown seeking boys and girls attention instead of her books (SIC)." 

The DCF released a report Monday that mentions the allegation against Caze and also the events leading to Naika’s death. 

Among the findings of the Critical Incident Rapid Response Team were that Naika's behavior issues and her mother's use of excessive corporal punishment weren't fully assessed. It also found that treatment for Naika focused on the symptoms of her trauma rather than addressing the trauma itself and that the relationship between Naika and Caze wasn't effectively addressed, due in part to the mother's non-compliance.

Caze became pregnant with Naika when she was 16 and gave birth in Haiti. Shortly after she delivered her child, Caze returned to Florida and Naika wouldn't join her mother until she was 18 months old.

The first case involving Naika was reported to DCF when she was 4 years old. At the time, Naika was left alone while she was supposed to be under the care of a male babysitter, according to DCF.  She was alone for an hour with no food or running water in the home, but by the time the investigation ended, Naika had been enrolled in daycare and was living in a home with no visible hazards.

When she turned 5, Caze refused to admit Naika in the hospital to be treated for a chronic health condition. The DCF report said Caze stood in the emergency room and called her daughter a liar and a faker before threatening to send her to Haiti so that her own life could be better.

When investigators arrived, Caze had admitted Naika into the hospital and was cooperating with medical providers. She also refused to accept any counseling services.

Just five months later, Naika, now 6, was beaten so badly with a belt that she had 30 marks on her arms, legs and back. The cause of the beating, according to DCF, was that Naika was discovered engaging in a sexual act at a male babysitter's house. Naika was said to be the aggressor.

That incident lead to Naika's first entry into foster care and over the course of her life, two intakes would follow. It would be determined that Naika was sexually abused when she told a therapist that she used to sleep in the same room as her mother's lovers and that she'd been watching "sex movies" with her mom, the report said.

Naika and Caze underwent assessments during the 17 months she was in foster care. For Naika, that meant focusing on her "sexually inappropriate behaviors'" and for Caze, the primary focus of her treatment was redacted in the DCF report.

However, it did say that Naika disclosed that her mother would hit her whenever she was on unsupervised visits.

A month after being reunited with her mother, a report came into DCF claiming Naika was sexually abused three times while in foster care. However, the person accused of the abuse denied that it happened and said that he'd always tell Naika to get out of his room when she'd sneak in wanting to touch his penis and have sex, according to a DCF report. 

In April 2014, 11-year-old Naika ran away from home because she thought her mom was going to beat her "again" after her brother got hurt under her care. Caze told officers she didn't want Naika back and threatened to beat her if she was left in her care.

As a result, Naika was taken away for a second time and placed in foster care for two months before going back to her mom. Two years would pass before Naika's final entry into foster care.

In April 2016, Caze brought Naika to a case management office and said she'd "had it" and was no longer willing to care for Naika.

Naika expressed her desire to return home as regular disruptions occurred. She told her therapist that she missed her mother greatly.

While in foster care, Naika experienced 14 placement changes, most of which resulted from behavioral disruptions, according to DCF. And instead of meeting with her daughter during court-ordered weekly therapeutic visits, Caze opted to contact Naika through social media -- a move that upset the teen.

Caze refused to see her daughter on her birthday, and also on Christmas when they had a visit planned. Caze said she'd missed the Christmas visit because she'd been smoking and drinking and "wasn't in a presentable condition," the report said. 

In January, Caze told DCF that Naika was "ya'll problem" and that she was not going to do anything else regarding her case.

Before her death, Naika said she was sad because her mother didn't want her to go home. She voiced plans for the future such as graduating high school and going to college. 

"The impact of multiple risk factors can create cumulative risk, which was present and evident in Naika's case," the report said. "Of particular interest is Naika's exposure to multiple forms of victimization, maltreatment and poor familial environments (parental monitoring, transitional living/ multiple placements), which are key suicidal risk factors. In Naika's case, the above protective factors (strong/influential enough to give the youth hope and something to keep living for) were not consistently present in her life and it appears that Naika did not possess resilient traits to keep her safe."

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