DECATUR, Ill. (WICS/WRSP) — Shock and outrage.
That’s the reaction from Ta'naja Barnes' father after hearing of his oldest daughter living in a house of horror.
He says he tried to intervene, but DCFS failed her.
Dartavious Barnes says the last time he saw his daughter was in October.
He knew something was wrong when he says he saw rashes, bruises, and what appeared to be burn marks all over her body.
A father's nightmare.
Dartavious Barnes gave us these pictures, some of the last photos he ever took of his daughter, during a visit last October.
The pictures show Ta’naja with scabbed up arms and legs, a bruised face, and abrasions all over her body.
He says the Department of Child and Family Services got involved.
“When I put her in the tub, my daughter was weak,” Dartavious Barnes said. “She couldn't even stand up. I had to sit my baby down. She was doing 'this' to the water. She was just so dehydrated.
He says DCFS did nothing.
Court documents showing young Ta'naja was released back to her mom, Twan'ka Davis, that same month because she said her children's needs were met.
“They didn't do their job,” Barnes said.
He says a coroner knocked on his door Wednesday and told him the terrible news that his daughter had died.
His world - shattered.
Investigators say Ta’naja was 21 pounds when she died.
“Ya’ll killed my daughter,” Barnes said. “I've been begging ya'll and asking ya'll for help. Now she's gone and now ya'll want to show me sympathy?
Ta’naja’s step-mom said they tried to deliver gifts to Ta'naja on Christmas, but Davis refused.
“I treated her like she’s my daughter,” Ta’naja’s step-mother Megan Harris said. “It’s hard. We still have presents for her.”
They say they will fight to hold both Davis and DCFS accountable.
“I'll never see her again,” Barnes said. “I'll never see her pretty face again and I miss her.”