OKC Mother Speaks Out After Daughter Dies In DHS Custody - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

OKC Mother Speaks Out After Daughter Dies In DHS Custody

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Miracle was kept in DHS custody and died Thursday in foster care. Miracle was kept in DHS custody and died Thursday in foster care.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

A child dies in Department of Human Services custody, and her biological mother does not believe the agency is giving her enough information about the death.

Jessica Ellis says she lost rights to her daughter six years ago as a teenage mother. On Thursday, she found out her daughter died, but feels she wasn't told a clear reason why.

"I just want to know, being her mother, and she's like well, since your rights are terminated, we really don't have to tell you anything," Ellis said.

At 14-years-old, Jessica Ellis says she and her siblings had to live in DHS custody while her mom was incarcerated for five months.

That's the time Ellis had twin baby girls, but only one, named Miracle, survived.

Miracle was kept in DHS custody and died Thursday in foster care.

Ellis is 21-years-old now, and says she has tried to regain custody of Miracle but hasn't been able to. She has seen her daughter only a few times and says she wasn't given a clear reason from a DHS caseworker for how she died.

"She kept telling me, well we're not doing an autopsy because we believe that she just died of a natural cause, and I'm like how was it a natural cause when you really don't know what she died because at first she said it was something in the wind, and then you told me she passed in her sleep," Ellis said.

DHS spokesperson Sheree Powell says Miracle had multiple medical issues, stayed at The Children's Center in Bethany for years, and received excellent care from her foster mother.

"We have given as much information as we have to the mother about her child's death, she knows her child died of natural causes, and that the medical examiner declined to do an autopsy," said Powell. "The mom was actually helping to plan the funeral with the foster mom, so I would think she could view her child's body any time she needed to."

Powell said there is no concern about abuse or neglect in this situation.

But Ellis said she was not able to plan the funeral and was told early on she would not be able to view her daughter's body until a last-minute change.

"First, they tell me, you have no say-so over the funeral, and then she was like, well you have say-so over the funeral, we're going to let you decide if you want her cremated or her buried," Ellis said.

"I'm still stuck like about how my daughter passed, I still don't know. What mother doesn't know about how her daughter passed? It's just very hurtful."

DHS held the funeral for 6-year-old Miracle Monday afternoon. Ellis was able to attend and met Miracle's foster mother.

Powell says Ellis can put in her own request for an autopsy through the Medical Examiner's office.

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