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Advocates Ask: Sarasota Girl Stabbed after DCF Knew of Family Risks?

Florida child advocates and attorneys who fight for the rights of abused, neglected and physically abused and sexually abused children are awaiting more information following the stabbing of a young Sarasota, Florida, girl, allegedly at the hand of her mother.

The 6-year-old girl was left fighting for her life in the hospital. Meanwhile, her mother, Ashley Parker, was jailed on charges of attempted murder. In late June, Sarasota police were called to the family home to find the daughter stabbed in the stomach and legs. The child’s “insides were hanging out with Band-Aids on her stomach,” according to police reports.

To those who know the family, this isn’t the first time the authorities have had to respond to the family’s home. Some reportedly believe that the Florida Department of Children and Families should have done more and ultimately failed the young girl.

“What I really think they should’ve did is took the little girl out of the house,” a neighbor told the news media. “The little girl would go to crying and shaking and stuff like that she was very afraid of her.”

DCF reportedly isn’t saying much. Some recall the case of Phoebe Jonchuck, the 5-year-old whose father threw her off a bridge into Tampa Bay. Her father, who later was charged with her murder, was known to be a risk to the child.

If the Department of Children and Families knew of problems in the Parker household, then questions will arise anew about what DCF officials knew, when they knew it, and – if they failed to act – why the girl was left in harm’s way.

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