South Florida woman learns of daughter's death nearly a year later

Abuse suspected by foster mother

MIAMI – A South Florida woman recently learned her 7-year-old daughter has been dead for almost a year -- and that she, along with her two sisters, reportedly suffered horrific physical abuse by the foster mother who adopted them two years ago.

"I feel like everything that I actually loved, it just crumbled," the woman, who didn't want to provide her name, told Local 10 News.

Gina Emanuelle, 50, now faces charges of abuse and neglect.

"(The Department of Children and Families) never called," the biological mother said. "Police never called. Social workers, no one has told me anything about the death of one of my children."

The woman said she found out about the situation when friends told her they recognized the woman who adopted her three daughters and baby boy as the registered nurse they just saw on TV, arrested for the repeated abuse of her 6-, 7- and 12-year-old adopted daughters.

Police said the surviving sisters describe malicious beatings with belts, a brush and a back scratcher for punishment. Socks were allegedly tied around their eyes, and the woman made them sleep on the floor when they wet the bed, along with burning their hands and fingers on the stove.

"You beat them with belts, brushes -- you had them sleeping on the floor? No," the biological mother said.

The 7-year-old girl died from an untreated flu last November. When paramedics arrived at Emanuelle's home, they found the girl unresponsive and with the telltale signs of abuse on her body, officials said.

Her two sisters were also scarred and disfigured, according to authorities. DCF immediately removed them and their little brother from home, but only arrested Emanuelle last Tuesday. 

When asked what she wanted to say to Emanuelle, the biological mother replied, "I just want to know why, like, why would you do that to a little girl?"

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