GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - The mother of a 4-year-old Grand Prairie girl who died earlier this month has been arrested.
Grand Prairie Police arrested 30-year-old Jeri Quezada for injury to a child for the death of her 4-year-old daughter on Monday.
Police say the girl's mother is responsible for her death, but the girl's grandparents are reserving their anger and hope a tragedy can be turned into a learning moment for others.
Craig and Alisa Clakley are left with only memories of their 4- year-old granddaughter, Leiliana Rose.
"I guess the hardest part about it is we won't ever see her again,” said Craig.
The grandparents raised Leiliana until she was two while the child's mother was in prison. When Quezada got out, the grandparents say everything changed.
Quezada took her child and stopped talking to the grandparents. When Leiliana did come to visit, Craig and Alisa say they began to see signs of abuse.
“She came to us in a visit and she had black eyes,” said Craig. “She had bruises on her back."
“Leiliana said, ‘Mommy hit me in my face. I was taking a shower and I didn't want to get out of shower,’” remembered Alisa.
The grandparents say they tried to step in but couldn't find any legal footing.
“She would say, ‘Please don't let me go back. Please let me stay with you,’” said Alisa. “She was always a good girl, but she would say, ‘I'll be a good girl. I could go to bed right now. I can go lay down. I can be a good girl.’”
Craig and Alisa say it's painful, but they're speaking out to raise the awareness of child abuse.
"Every child wants to feel safe,” said Alisa. “They want to know this is my place and I'm protected and I'm loved."
Police are still actively investigating the case and said the charges against Quezada could be upgraded.
She is being held on a $500,000 bond.