MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- After the tragic death of 15-month old Samia Yusef on Friday, Aug. 5, Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas is calling for a full investigation into how Child Protective Services of Westchester handled their dealings with the toddler's mother, according to News12.
Thomas said he felt more could have been done more to prevent the death of the toddler, said News 12.
Her mother, Dasia Bartee, 26, has been charged with a felony count of first-degree manslaughter and was released earlier this week on $50,000 bail. Her two other children have been removed from the home.
According to police, the initial investigation indicates that the toddler was dead for several hours . She sustained significant trauma to the face and suffered from internal bleeding, though the official cause of death has not been determined. When police arrived at the apartment, the “temperature of the toddler’s body was extremely cold, which indicates an unusual situation.”
Mount Vernon officials confirmed that the agency visited Yusef's home several times for neglect and other issues. Thomas says he wants to create a system for families in which they have access to help and will not be ignored, said News 12.
On the city's website, Thomas said he is urging the community to come together and support one another. He also said that the city is focused on connecting the community with supportive resources so families in distress have places to turn.
“Mount Vernon is a family and we must take care of one another. We must lift each other up and rely on our faith in God and in each other to pull through these tough times," Thomas said. "Many people may find themselves unable to cope with stressful situations so it is important to know that help is out there. If someone you know is struggling, it’s important to reach out and get him or her the help they need."
He also said the Mount Vernon Police Department is continuing to prioritize community engagement so they are able to identify families on the brink and get them help.
List of Community Resources:
- United Way, 211
- Andrus Children’s Center, 914-965-3700
- Family Services of Westchester, 914-668-9124
- Montefiore Mental Health Service, 914-664-8000, ext. 7199
- Westchester Jewish Community Services, 914-668-8938, ext. 304
- Guidance Center of Westchester, 914-665-6641
- Child Protective Services of Westchester, 800-342-3720
- My Sister’s Place, 800-298-7233