POSTED: Monday, August 6, 2012 - 4:25pm
UPDATED: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 10:11am
EL PASO — Friends and family said goodbye today to baby Jayla Beckley.
The 11 month old died as a result of child abuse. El Paso police say her foster father stomped on her.
It was a tearful gathering of family and friends who say this could all have been prevented if Jayla hadn't been taken from her home and placed in foster care.
" Whenever she would meet someone she would bring their face to her lips and give them a beautiful kiss. When people would see her they would say what a beautiful angel," said Jayla's grandmother Mary Beckley.
Jayla's grandmother grieved by her granddaughter's casket. The small coffin was draped in white with flowers and a teddy bear placed on top.
" I want to see this man that murdered my child, my grand baby, she was my baby, to stomp her to death, Want him to be stomped to death too. That's what I want,"said Beckley.
Beckley says the baby had just moved to the Lopez home six weeks ago after Child Protective Services took her away from her.
"They took her out of my home because they said she wasn't safe due to the fact that I was elderly although I had two other of the siblings in the family," said Beckley.
Jayla's aunt Regina Elliot says her niece's death could have been prevented.
"They had no reason to remove her and place her in the hands of a murderer. If they didn't want her to be with Mary, than why not with us," said Elliot.
Paul Zimmerman with Child Protective Services says foster care is always the last resort.
"We had worked extensively with this family, in the past to try and find a way to keep Jayla out of foster care but ultimately the family could not reach an agreement for her to stay safely in the home that she was staying in. And we basically had our hands tied and had no choice but to put her in foster care," said Zimmerman.
CPS had tried to get Jayla's mother to sign a safety plan so that Jayla could be placed with a family member.
The agency says that Jayla's mother frequently visited Jayla and the other children,exposing them to illegal substance abuse and erratic, unsafe behavior. Elliott says there were early signs of abuse in that foster home.
"She had two black eyes, she had a bruise right here. Her lips were purple, she had hair missing from the back of her head. We've got pictures of that. Child Protective Services was aware," said Elliott.
"We'll look into establishing a timeline, of everybody who saw that child, during her stay at foster care. We're gonna ask questions like were there signs of abuse? Were they reported? Were they legitimate and what was done if that happened," said Zimmerman.
Mary Beckley wants justice for her granddaughter.
"This is a heinous crime and justice should be in order because all these little kids that are in the system, they can't speak for themselves, they cannot protect themselves, and they're being abused by the system because people want money, bloody money," said Beckley.