KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Days after police took a battered and bruised 2-year-old girl from a local apartment, her mother and the mother's boyfriend face child endangerment charges.
Court documents show more about the environment in which the child and her half-sibling survived.
Several neighbors said they saw the mother, Brittaney Gannaway, act hostilely toward her children. Court records confirm both Gannaway and her boyfriend Jonathan Hale "had difficulty controlling anger" and Hale "has been physically assaultive in the past."
Read custody court documents for the child | http://bit.ly/YTAEE4
The documents detail the injuries the 2-year-old girl suffered -- including two black eyes, broken bones, a fractured skull and head-to-toe bruises. Those injuries are at "various stages of healing," which indicates the child was beaten more than once.
Lois Rice, director of CASA of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties, said the girl will be going into the foster care system for now.
Rice outlined the lengthy legal process this child will experience once released from the hospital.
"It is terribly confusing," she said. "It is very scary."
That is why the services CASA offers are so valued. Volunteer work as court-appointed special advocates -- a child's lifeline and only constant in an over-run legal system.
CASA helped 1,300 kids last year, but there are more than 4,000 abused or neglected children in Kansas City courts right now.
Heartbreaking headlines always draw more volunteers, but there are never enough.
"Your focus is on what's good for this child," CASA trainee Chuck Smith said. "And you're really the only one doing that."
For information on becoming a volunteer, visit CASAKC.org .
Gannaway has her next court appearance in two weeks.