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Records released by DCF portray different picture of mother in teen’s Facebook Live suicide

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The mother of a teen who committed suicide was in her car when she began receiving a trickle of text messages,

Then a barrage of texts began streaming in.

“Where’s your daughter,” one read.

“Please please please check on your daughter,” read another.

Gina Alexis, the mother of Naika Venant, the 14-year-old girl who hung herself with a scarf in January as hundreds watched, began to frantically make phone calls — first to Naika’s case worker. But no one picked up.

According to a cache of documents released on Wednesday by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) on the order of a judge in a suit brought by The Miami Herald, Alexis tried to scan the dozens of messages popping up on Naika’s Facebook page.

Her heart sank, she told The Miami Herald in an exclusive interview on Wednesday. acquired the same trove of documents from DCF, which number in the hundreds of pages and give a full, detailed history from the first time the two came in contact with the agency — when Naika’s baby sitter left her home alone for more than an hour to the rapid response report recently issued following Naika’s death.

It was revealed Alexis might have been taunted Naika in a comment on the Facebook Live thread, but it wasn’t true, she said.

“Alexis said she has been wrongly cast as a villain, as someone who watched online as her daughter planned and executed a chilling suicide while live-streaming on Facebook,” the Herald reported. “Critics of her behavior have cited a post Alexis made on social media in which she referred to Naika as ‘a sad little DCF custody jit,’ and warned that the girl ‘will get buried’ if she continued down a path of abhorrent behavior.”

The post still exists online here and there, but it was never proven Alexis wrote it and several fake accounts had been set up impersonating Naika during the three hours she built up the nerve to hang herself.

“And Alexis insists she made the comments at around 1:15 a.m. the night Naika died — but when friends were telling her that news of a Facebook Live hanging were a hoax,” according to the Herald. “Indeed, Alexis said, friends of her daughter were creating fake social media accounts under Naika’s name, reporting that the spectacle was a stunt.”

Naika had endured sexual abuse from a young age and had become inappropriately hyper-sexualized at an inappropriate age, records reflect.

It no doubt played a confusing role in her mind, along with the 14 foster homes she was placed in during nine months time, according to a DCF report.

“I didn’t bring from Haiti for this result … I lost my #1 friend my baby my #1 reason to live it’s so hard without you … I love you to the moon and back princess,” Alexis wrote in kind of goodbye text.

DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said in a statement: “There has been much work done in the child welfare system throughout the state, and in Miami-Dade County in recent years, but our work will never be done. The findings outlined in the critical incident rapid response team) report present specific opportunities to make systemic improvements that will inform us and our partner agencies on how to better reach troubled kids.”

Les Neuhaus is an all-platform journalist, with specialties in print reporting and writing. In addition to Florida Politics, he freelances as a general-assignment and breaking-news reporter for most of the major national daily newspapers, along with a host of digital media, and a human rights group. A former foreign correspondent across Africa and Asia, including the Middle East, Les covered a multitude of high-profile events in chronically-unstable nations. He’s a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, in which he served as a Security Policeman, and graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.A. in political science. He is a proud father to his daughter and enjoys spending time with his family.

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