FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Fort Lauderdale police originally believed the people who are accused of abusing a young girl were her foster family, but it turned out the suspects are actually the child's adoptive mother and brother, Local 10 News has since learned.
And there are major questions as to why she was allowed to live with them in the first place.
According to an arrest affidavit, "The child did not have a clear, unscarred area of skin on the back of her upper thighs."
The 8-year-old girl's adoptive mother and brother, Turella and Rashad Forman, and his father, Duane Fletcher, all face serious felony charges.
Police said in their report that "Rashad beat (the child) with the jump rope and that Turella beat (the child) with a charging cord for getting a bad note home from school."
Police said the child had "an uncountable number of whip and lash marks throughout (her) entire body."
"She never comes out unless she's going to school -- walking to school or walking back," a neighbor, identified only as Freddy, said.
Freddy said he rarely saw the child outside the family's Fort Lauderdale apartment, but said he never expected that she was being abused.
"I don't know. That's crazy," he said.
The affidavit discloses that there were at least four other investigations into abuse by Turella and Rashad Forman against the child, dating back as far as 2015, and yet she was still allowed to live with the family.
It's an issue that child advocate Howard Talenfeld, of Talenfeld Law, said is more common than you'd expect.
"BSO, unfortunately, I don't believe is prioritizing the safety of children the way they need to be," he said.
Local 10 News contacted the Florida Department of Children and Families, which directed us to the Broward Sheriff's Office Child Protective Investigations Section.
But BSO officials would only say there is an investigation ongoing and that the case is confidential.
"BSO CPIS investigates every allegation abuse and neglect thoroughly to determine the validity of the allegation and if a child can safely remain in the home," BSO spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion said in an email. "If the findings of the investigation determine that a child needs to be removed from a parent or caregiver, a shelter hearing is held before the court within 24 hours. If a child is removed, reunification is determined by the court."
Concepcion said the majority of BSO CPIS investigations do not result in removals.
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