In a deeply distressing turn of events, social workers had warned the relatives of Jayniah Watkins multiple times about the potential danger posed by her mother before the 3-month-old baby girl was tragically found decapitated on Monday.

Recent records obtained by The Cincinnati Enquirer reveal that Hamilton County’s Job and Family Services social workers recognized the threat presented by Jayniah’s mother and conducted regular checks on the child since late January, making sure to monitor her well-being.

The Grim Outcome

Despite the efforts of the social workers, the unthinkable could not be prevented. De’asia Watkins, the mother, managed to locate the child at her aunt’s residence in College Hill, where she mercilessly beheaded her on a kitchen counter sometime between late Sunday and early Monday.

Jayniah had been placed under the care of her aunt, whose identity remains undisclosed. This decision was made due to Watkins’ severe mental illness and the fact that the father, James Brown, had not yet established paternity or custody rights.

Prosecutors have revealed that the aunt had been explicitly instructed to ensure that neither the mother nor the father had any contact with the baby during this period or resided in the same household. Tragically, these warnings were not heeded.

The Involvement of Social Workers

The involvement of social workers began on January 25 when Watkins was hospitalized following an incident at her home, during which the police found her screaming and Jayniah crying loudly. Court records indicate that Watkins initially resisted handing over the baby and, even after complying, she passed out with her eyes open.

Watkins was subsequently diagnosed with postpartum psychosis and hospitalized for three days. According to investigators, Brown reported that she had been exhibiting erratic behavior and engaging in conversations with demons.

Following the January 25 incident, Jayniah was placed with Brown, and Watkins was allowed to move back in with them after her hospitalization. However, Watkins was strictly prohibited from being alone with the child and was required to take her medication if she wished to remain in the household.

Records indicate that social workers visited Jayniah at least seven times during her stay with Brown, conducting visits ranging from 10 to 120 minutes. After each visit, the social workers reported that Jayniah appeared to be healthy and in good condition.

The Grim Turn of Events

The situation took a darker turn after a court hearing on March 6. During the hearing, it was discovered that Watkins had ceased taking her medication and was observed breastfeeding Jayniah, despite being explicitly instructed not to do so due to the medication she was prescribed.

As a result, Jayniah was removed from Brown’s home and placed with her aunt in College Hill. Records indicate that social workers continued to monitor Jayniah, conducting visits on the day of the March 6 hearing and at least two more times after she went to live with her aunt. These visits occurred at the aunt’s residence and at the downtown offices of Job and Family Services.

The Heartbreaking Discovery

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters revealed that social workers were not aware that Watkins had moved into her aunt’s house until Monday morning. Police responded to a distress call and discovered Jayniah’s lifeless body in the kitchen.

Watkins, covered in blood, was found in bed. She is currently under guard in the hospital, charged with aggravated murder. Due to the severity of Watkins’ mental illness, prosecutors have indicated that seeking the death penalty is unlikely. At this point, Watkins has not cooperated with investigators.

Deters stated that it is unlikely the aunt will face charges in connection with the case, although a final decision will be made upon completion of the investigation.

A tragic incident like this serves as a reminder of the importance of recognizing and addressing mental health concerns while ensuring the safety and well-being of vulnerable individuals. This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or endorsement.