Father of slain 4-year-old says he saw the warning signs

A North Texas father says there were warning signs that his daughter was being abused by her mother, but he couldn’t prove it.

4-year-old Leiliana Wright died of blunt force trauma on March 13th. Grand prairie police say her mother, 30-year-old Jeri Quezada and her boyfriend Charles Phifer shot up heroin, then beat and tortured the little girl for drinking her brother’s juice box. Both are now in jail on charges of “injury to a child.”

Saturday in Fort Worth, family and friends shared stories and shed tears, talking about the light and love Leiliana brought into their lives.

“The last memory I have of seeing her face she was crying in terror for me not to send her back to her mamma. She was begging me and all I could do was sit there and watch. She had custody, what was I supposed to do,” said Brian Maker, Leiliana’s father.

The family's frustration is now focused on breaking through what they call legal and CPS red tape.

Even though Quezada was a felon and known drug user, the family claims a judge still gave her custody of Leiliana.

They say Leiliana's legacy will live on in the form of policy change, and the protection of other kids.

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