Two years before the death of a 4 1/2-year-old Sacramento foster child, the girl's biological mother tried to tell the Juvenile Court that her fears for her daughter were going unheeded.
The 2006 court records are even more poignant, given this week's admission by Sacramento County Child Protective Services that the agency did, in fact, have a bias in the case.
The county's top child welfare leaders acknowledged Thursday that CPS had a bias in favor of foster provider Tracy Dossman, who was caring for Amariana when she died in a January 2008 house fire. Before her death, Amariana's biological parents had complained frequently to CPS that their daughter was being injured in the foster home.
After the child's death in the still-unsolved homicide, a Bee investigation revealed that the little girl had suffered numerous injuries in Dossman's home.
An internal CPS review into its own conduct indicated that the concerns of Amariana's biological mom, Anisha Hill, had been largely discounted because she had been feuding with Dossman.
Hill had been unable to get the attention of the court, either.
A transcript from a May 5, 2006, hearing shows that Hill told Referee Scott P. Harman that "every time I complained about something, they always took her (Dossman's) side..."
Later, Hill asked the referee: "How come everybody always believes her over me...?"
In another passage from court transcripts, the child's biological father pleaded with the referee in September 2006 for more time to get his daughter back.
"I want to continue to get all the information that's needed," Curtis Crenshaw said. "That's what I want. My daughter's life is at stake."