Mom buries her daughter's body in suitcase, just 3 months after she got custody

A Florida mom has been arrested after cops say she buried her own toddler in a suitcase. The body of 2-year-old Tariji Gordon was found after her 32-year-old mother, Rachel Fryer, turned herself in and confessed to the police on Monday. Fryer allegedly told cops that the little girl died of an asthma attack--but she never even attempted to call emergency responders. So horrible. 

But the worst part? This all happened only three months after she regained custody of her four children. She has already lost custody once because another of her kids, Tariji's brother, died in her care in 2011!

OK, I'm all for giving people the benefit of the doubt, but two supposedly accidental children's deaths within a few years? Obviously, Fryer is not a fit parent for those kids!


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Tariji's twin brother, Tavont'ae, died in 2011. His death was deemed accidental and Fryer was not charged, despite that she allegedly had cocaine in her system at the time of his death. After temporarily taking them from her custody, the Florida Department of Children and Families returned Fryer's kids to her this past November.

Sadly, that decision only led to more tragedy. Authorities are still investigating Tariji's death, but Fryer maintains that she didn't kill her. She allegedly told police that she found the 2-year-old unresponsive after suffering from an asthma attack and attempted to perform CPR. But when her attempts at resuscitation didn't work, she didn't call 911 like any other parent would have.

Instead, she wrapped the child's body in a blanket, put her in a suitcase, and called a friend to drive her out to a home, where cops found the remains in a shallow grave in a yard. Ugh, that just makes me sick.

Though cops aren't holding Fryer responsible for the actual death as of now, they are charging her with child neglect. She is now being held in jail on $950,000 bond.

I understand that part of the goal of social services is to work with the families as much as possible if it seems that the parents can get back on track. And I totally agree with that, to a certain extent. After all, there's no need to rip families apparent if there's a real chance at recovery. But it also seems as if courts' standards for deeming someone a capable parent are pretty low--which is extremely dangerous, given that they are leaving kids' lives in those people's hands.  

We've already seen the consequences of that in Fryer's case. She was given a second chance and now, another young life is lost to unfit parenting. I only hope that someone makes sure her other three kids aren't put at the same risk again.  

Image via Corbis

Topics: crime  latest news  tragedies with children