Danieal Kelly
January 3, 1992 - August 4, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial
Between the ages of seven and nine, Danieal Kelly had been enrolled in school at Madison Rose Lane in Arizona. Her teacher said she was a happy child, she loved to sing, eat and play and she loved Shania Twain. Danieal LOVED to sing "Man, I Feel Like A Woman". These happy times for Danieal happened between the fall of 1999 and the Spring of 2001. 

Andrea Kelly was so embarrassed by having a child with Cerebral Palsy that she never took her 14 year old daughter, Danieal out in  public, never allowed her to attend school and ended up putting her in a room and allowing her to starve to death. Even when family tried tried to help, they were banned from the house where Danieal would
eventually die, on a mattress on the floor, alone, in a dark room with no air, sores and maggots on her body and no one to give her the love and care she needed. Danieal's last word is reported to have been "water".

Once again, it wasn't that NO ONE cared, it was that the people who were SUPPOSED to care the most, didn't. Danieal was Andrea's third child, out of the nine that she had. Andrea failed to give Danieal even the basic care that any mother would give her child. Danieal was left in dirty diapers, she wasn't fed, given water or given any love, by her mother. Andrea never allowed her daughter out of the house, not even to go to the doctor. Andrea never even wanted to hug her own daughter, she didn't want to touch her at all.

In the days before she died, one of Danieal's brothers begged Andrea several times to call 911 and get help for his sister. Andrea ignored her son and on August 4, 2006, paramedics were called to their home when it was already too late for Danieal. Weighing only 42 pounds at the age of 14, Danieal's body was curled up and she had been laying there for so long that there was an indentation the shape of her body on the mattress. It was obvious that she had been dead for several hours before they were called. When Police opened the bedroom door, the smell of decay overpowered them. Danieal had bed sores all over her back and maggots covered them.

"They found her skeletal remains, in a dark, stifling, stinking room, an airless room. Her body
was covered in sores. Think of the excruciating pain and suffering this child must have endured. 

This was unimaginably cruel, even torture. The attitude of this agency has been, "We're 
okay, we can fix it ourselves". Well, they haven't and they are incapable of fixing it
as time after time after time and death after death, has proved"
Lynn Abraham

Andrea's remaining children were taken away from her and placed in foster care. When she gave birth to another child, that fall after the death of Danieal, that child was taken away as well.

Nine people were indicted for charges that included, murder, reckless endangerment, manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, endangering the welfare of children, forgery, tampering with public records and conspiracy. Included in the indictment were Danieal's parents, DHS workers, staff at the outsourced agency who had been hired to check on Danieal and three of Andrea's friends. The case caused seven other employees of DHS have been suspended or fired and the head of the Health Department resigned.

In August of 2008, Eric Zajac and Brian Mildenberg, two attorneys hired by Andrea, filed a RIDICULOUS lawsuit against the City, DHS, Commonwealth and several of the caseworkers who were assigned to the case. The claim was that they had all failed to protect Danieal and prevent her death. The lawsuit claims that due to the failure of these people, Danieal's family is now deprived of her love, companionship, support, comfort and economic value of her life expectancy. The suit was filed for an amount that was not specified, however, it would include the family being reimbursed for medical bills, burial expenses and lawyer fees. Where was all of this family love while Danieal was in her room, all alone, covered in sores and maggots, dying a slow, painful death? 

What kind of a lawyer would even THINK about filing this kind of a law suit? Basically these lawyers are saying that it's okay to abuse a child to death as long as the state is supposed to be watching out for them, because you file a lawsuit when you kill your child and it's okay to blame it on someone else. The Mayor and the District Attorney were shocked that these people had the nerve to sue the city and they were even more shocked to learn that they found an attorney who was willing to take their case:

"I have never heard of anything so crazy in my life" 
Mayor Michael Nutter said. 

"I think this lessens the reputations of attorneys in general and doesn't do anything to them 
either; in my judgment, they look terrible as attorneys and professionals" 
D.A. Lynne Abraham 

Neither of the lawyers could be reached for comment or they refused to make any comments about their ridiculous lawsuit. Eric Zajac referred to a written statement where he had said that he filed legal petitions to have a trustee represent the estate should Danieal's parents be convicted and the money would go to her siblings. The D.A. said that these lawyers were only hoping to get a lot of money for themselves.

"The other children are going to be well taken care of for the state and these lawyers are not 
suing for them, they're suing for themselves" 
Mayor Michael Nutter 

Brian Mildenberg had this to say:

"It's just outrageous, it is outrageous. We are suing on behalf of Danieal Kelly. Her estate is 
suing. Her parents are not suing. There are legal beneficiaries to the estate 
that will be determined by Pennsylvania law by a judge in the orphan's court. We 
have no part in determining who the legal beneficiaries are and I'd like 
to make another comment because Lynne Abraham and Mayor Nutter stated that the 
remaining children would be taken care of by the state. Well, I hope they're taking 
care of better than the state took care of Danieal Kelly." 

Michael Nutter said that the city would seek to be repaid for whatever money it has to spend in defense of this lawsuit.

In November of 2008, Andrea went on trial, testifying against her were some of her children. Danieal's brother Daniel testified to the following: 

"She was starting to get smaller. Her body was, well, she didn't have as much meat on 
her body as she used to"

On August 12, 2008, Danieal's parents made the decision to not be a part of the lawsuit. They were removed as administrators and a trustee was appointed.

Daniel Kelly testified at the preliminary hearing, that his older brother had visited in the summer and that he, Troy Kelly, did not live there. Troy had seen what condition Danieal was in and he then had a talk with his mother. At some point he left and then returned and spoke to Daniel:

"He came back and gave me money and said, Make sure she, Danieal, eats"

Autopsy photos were shown in court and they revealed that the bones in the pelvic area could be seen. The Medical Examiner, Edwin Lieberman said that this would have taken weeks or even months to happen. Andrea covered her face, gasped and sobbed as the pictures were shown in court. Andrea's two sons, Daniel and Tony looked at their mother who kept her face covered except to sneak looks at her sons.

The judge in the case, Municipal Court Judge Patrick F. Dugan, said that he had fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and seen some terrible things. He said that none of it was as devastating as the images of the body of Danieal after her death:

"Right here in Philadelphia, she died looking like she had been in Auschwitz - yes, the 
concentration camp. No one stepped up for Danieal Kelly, and she appeared 
to have rotted away"

The preliminary hearing lasted for three days and along with two of her children, Andrea's mother testified against her.

Judge Dugan ordered that Andrea Kelly, 39 years old, was to be held over for trial on murder and other charges relating to the death of Danieal. He also ordered that a co-defendant, Julius Murray, 51 years old, be held on a charge of involuntary manslaughter. Julius was one of the employees who worked for a private social service firm which had been hired the the Department Of Human Services. The contract stated that Julius would be required to visit Danieal and her siblings at the very least, once a week. 

Prosecutors said that the visits Julius made were so infrequent that the other children in the home didn't even know who he was. Richard Quinton Hark and William Spade, the lawyers for Andrea and Julius argued that the children were not recalling the incidents properly.

Through questioning them, Quinton Hark was able to get Daniel to admit that he was truant from school and that though he had made  about $300. a day selling Marijuana, he didn't help his mother with the food bill and he couldn't remember how much money his mother had spent on food every month. An objection was made:

"Objection!  It doesn't matter if she spent $5,000 a week on food if she didn't give any to Danieal"

The judge sustained the objection.

Naomi Washington, Andrea's mother, was questioned and Quinton tried to say that Andrea was a woman who was not prepared to be a mother of even one child, much less eight children and one more on the way. Naomi said that Andrea had learning disabilities and had left school in the 10th grade. She admitted that Andrea seemed not to be able to handle the care of nine children, with one of them being a special needs child in capable of caring for herself at all.

When Quinton asked Naomi if she believed Andrea lacked enough trained to care for a child with Cerebral Palsy she said:

"She, I...You know how to bathe, feed and take care of them. It's not something 
anybody has to tell you."

Judge Dugan rejected an argument by Richard Hark that there wasn't enough evidence presented by prosecutors to support the charge of first degree murder against Andrea. Richard said that there was no proof that Andrea had starved Danieal to death, on purpose. However, he did admit that she failed to give her the care she required.

Assistant District Attorney Edward McCann stated that Danieal had died a slow and painful death and that her death was the very definition of malice, even more so because Andrea had watched as her daughter had wasted away for weeks, all the while, ignoring family members who begged her to get medical attention for Danieal. The Judge ordered Kelly to be tried on a murder charge, that would leave first degree murder as on option for jurors. If Kelly was found guilty, she could face life in prison without parole or she could face the death penalty.

The case of Danieal Kelly, once again, aired the problems at the DHS and unprecedented criminal charges were filed against city employees and private Social workers. Andrea, Julius and seven other people were also charged, including two former DHS employees.

William Spade, the attorney for Julius Murray, said that prosecutors had not given enough proof that his client had not visited Danieal and her siblings, as he was being paid to do. He argued that though two of Kelly's children had said they had not seen Julius in their home, they had also testified to hardly ever being there.

Edward McCann pointed out that either Julius had made the home visits which he was required to do and ignored Danieal's condition, or he didn't go at all and totally ignored his legal duty to her. Whichever it was, Edward said that Julius had shown a reckless and grossly negligent regard for the life of Danieal. Judge Dugan said that the people who were supposed to nurture, nourish and protect Danieal, failed her on every level.

Quinton Hark was upset saying that the judge had predetermined his decision about the case. Quinton was cut short during one of his cross examinations, he stated that he wasn't done with his questions. Judge Dugan had stopped him from asking questions over and over, just worded differently:

"Sir, you're done, take a seat"

Richard took his seat and opened a newspaper, pretending to read as the prosecutions next witness took the stand. The judge ordered Richard into his chambers and there was a loud argument which brought two more Sheriff's Officers into the court room. When they returned, Richard didn't ask any questions of the final witness. An arraignment date was set for December 1 for Andrea and Julius.

Daniel Kelly, the father of Danieal, said that Andrea and social services were to blame for his daughters death:

"It's a lot of finger-pointing between her and them"

Danieal was living with him in Arizona when she attended the school she was so happy at. She returned to live with her mother and that is when things went wrong. Daniel said that Andrea was raising the children in substandard conditions and that she had neglected Danieal. He also said that social workers should have recognized that Danieal was in trouble:

"This happened over a long period of time. Obviously, somebody didn't care"

At the age of 30 years old, Andrea Kelly plead guilty to the third degree murder charges, her Lawyer, Richard Quinton Hark, announced that she was going to "accept responsibility" for what she had done and that she would "agree" to serve 20 to 40 years in prison for her crime. How nice of her to accept responsibility for killing a child when it WAS indeed SHE who was responsible and since WHEN does a murderer get to "agree" to the time they spend in prison? What a mixed up, insane place this world truly is. Admitting the truth about what you did to a child should mean a reward in the form of getting out of prison some day!

Danieal's father, though he did not live in the home at the time of her death, was charged with child endangerment. Authorities said that he was aware of what was going on and did nothing about it. In fact in July of 2011 it was reported that Daniel Kelly Sr., who was 40 years old at the time, was found guilty of endangering the life of a child. Daniel was facing seven years in prison for his part in the death of Danieal

Also during the investigation, authorities found a cardboard box in the cubicle of Dana Poindexter, a social worker with DHS. The box was big enough to hold a file cabinet. In the box, authorities found files to the top, along with random case files, food wrappers and unopened mail, some dated back four years. At the bottom of that box was Danieal's file.

It was reported that at least one DHS Administrator had decided to make it appear as though reports and determinations about Danieal had been completed in the correct way. She back dated reports, some were dated back as far as a year with false dates and information about the case. The worker said that it was common practice.

On the day of Danieal's death, Mickal Mamuvaka, who was part owner and director of the Multiethnic Behavioral Health, took part in what authorities called a forgery fest. Employees were told to make up a years worth of false progress reports to make up for the work that had never been done at all. The city has since terminated the contract they had with this company. 109 children who had been under the care of Multiethnic Behavioral Health were placed with other providers:

I just felt that, given the magnitude of what I saw, that we needed to do that much more 
expeditiously. I'm outraged and saddened The system clearly failed with this 
kid. There's just no way you can look at a situation like this and say there wasn't a failure"
Acting DHS commissioner Arthur C. Evans Jr.

Dana Poindexter, who was 54 years old at the time, a Social Worker from the Department Of Human Services was found guilty of child endangerment, recklessly endangering another person and perjury. Dana was facing eight to 16 years in prison for her part in the death of Danieal.

Mickal Kamuvaka, who was 62 years old at the time, and
head of of the Department Of Human Services was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, child endangerment, reckless endangerment, perjury, criminal conspiracy and four other charges related to forgery. Mickal  was facing up to 25 years in prison for his part in the death of Danieal.

None of these people showed any type of emotions after the jury took seven hours, came back with guilty verdicts and the verdicts were read in court. The jury was praised by prosecutors who were happy that this five year old case was over:

"It's been five years and I am tremendously, tremendously gratified by the jury's verdict"
Acting First Assistant District Attorney - Edward McCann

Sadly, Daniel, Dana and Mickal were all sentenced to less than three years each in prison. Many other employees of the agency that was supposed to be looking out for Danieal, were arrested, charged and found guilty, their sentences varied from probation to prison time.

On August 2, 2008, Carmen Paris, Assistant Health Commissioner, resigned surrounded by the allegations that she tried to block the homicide investigation into Danieal's death. A Grand Jury report said that she had told the medical examiners not to speak to anyone and that included the homicide detectives, about the case.

On August 3, 2008, it was reported that two city social workers had tried to get someone to do something about Danieal. This shows that not everyone in the department is neglectful towards the children. It also opens the door to finding out WHY they were silenced and opens the door to making the system more effective.

On August 4, 2008, there was a report about the seven other city employees who had been suspended. It seems that one of those who had been suspended had been promoted and was now head of the fatality review committee. Michael Nutter, the Mayor of Philadelphia was not pleased with this news:

"I’m fully, thoroughly and completely pissed off about what has happened here. The behavior 
exhibited by public employees is unacceptable, and I’m furious at their actions"

He went on to say:

“Were establishing a new culture of accountability. There’s not a shadow of doubt in my 
mind that this department will turn around” 

"When I think of my own daughter and if she were in someone else's care, and if they 
performed the way some of these individuals did, I would kick their ass myself. No child 
in Philadelphia should ever again face the same fate as Danieal Kelly.

If you are not prepared to take the actions that need to be taken, if you cannot keep up and stay 
on top of this, then you should leave this city government right now. We don’t need you, 
and we don’t want you"

On January 22, 2009, it was reported that the court had denied a motion to dismiss charges against Andrea. Richard Quinton stating that prosecutors had not proven at the preliminary hearing that she had premeditated or had criminal intent in the death of Danieal, which was needed to be convicted of murder.

On January 24, 2009, the state of Pennsylvania restored a full license to the Philadelphia Department Of Human Services. Full restoration of their operation license came with a warning that they must continue to improve their performance in protecting abused and neglected children. This had been the third time the agency had been issued a provisional license. If the agency was given one more of this type of license it would be taken over by the Pennsylvania Department Of Public Welfare:

“They have made changes, and that’s wonderful. said.  But we need to see lasting change. 
I cannot stress enough, there is a lot of work that still needs to be done”
Stacey Witalec -Welfare Department 

Neighbors said they weren't even aware that Danieal was there:

"Nobody knew she was there until she died"
Essie Davis

Danieal's funeral program read:

"Safely home. I am home in heaven"

Death Occurred in the state of Pennsylvania

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