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Mother Charged with Aggravated Murder
Bond has been set at one million dollars for a North Fairmount woman charged in the death of her young daughter.
23-year old Janischa Cottingham is charged with aggravated murder.
Janischa Cottingham was clearly distraught as she was brought into court this morning.
Cottingham is charged in connection with the death of her daughter, 16 month-old Robin Cottingham. Tthe toddler was found in mom's apartment on Bowling Green Court Thursday afternoon. Janischa was not there and was later arrested at a relative's house.
Janischa's mother came up from Atlanta for the hearing. She says her daughter had been hospitalized for a psychiatric evaluation but was released.
Belinda Jones Cottingham says the Children's Services agency ultimately put the baby back with Janischa after the hospitalization and promised to keep an eye on both, but did not live up to their responsibilities.
Belinda Jones Cottingham, Baby's Grandmother:
"I want the world to know she was an excellent mother. I don't know what happened in this situation, but I do know the state has failed my daughter, they failed."
The baby was found in the living room of her mother's apartment. The cause of death has not been determined.
A spokesperson for the Jobs and Family Services Agency, Amy Hollon, issued a statement yesterday - quote- "We recently became involved with the family, with no prior history. We were in the process of an assessment. We are working with police as the investigation unfolds ... end quote."
We have a call in to the agency to see if they will respond to the allegations you heard from the baby's grandmother.
The mother of a 15-month-old girl is charged in her death and the child's father said his cries for help were ignored by the county.
Janishcia Cottingham, 23, faces an aggravated murder charge. Police said she killed her daughter, Robin Cottingham. A 911 call led police to Cottingham's apartment on Bowling Green Ct. in North Fairmount Thursday afternoon.
Around the same time, Janishcia Cottingham was taken into custody on Rockdale Ave. in Avondale. Police questioned her about her daughter's death and later charged her.
Robin Cottingham's father, Robert Midell, said he had contacted 241-KIDS about concerns he had for his daughter, but he felt like his cries for help were largely ignored.
"The mother of my daughter took my daughter down to 241-KIDS and stated she didn't want to care for my baby anymore," Midell said.
Robert Midell said he wanted to take custody of his daughter and had taken her for a couple of weeks. He said he took her back to 241-KIDS telling the agency he needed help caring for her while he looked for a job and sought vouchers to place her in daycare. But, Midell said Robin was returned to her mother.
"241-KIDS gave my baby back to her knowing she had mental illness or whatever was going on," the grieving father said. Midell said case workers complained to him that opening an investigation would create piles of paperwork.
Amy Hollan, a spokesperson for Hamilton County Job & Family Services wrote in a statement: "We recently became involved with the family, with no prior history. We were in process of assessment. We are working with police as the investigation unfolds."
Detectives and investigators with the Hamilton Co. Coroner's office spent hours at the apartment Thursday afternoon.
"There will be an autopsy. We'll look at the other pieces of evidence. We'll look at all the photographs, we'll talk to people and Cincinnati Police are conducting the investigation," said Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Kode Sammarco.
As the investigation moves forward, Robert Midell and his family are leaning on their faith. "It's all in the Lord's hands. My baby's in a better place," Midell said.
Janishcia Cottingham was arraigned in court Friday morning. Bond was set at $1 million. She remains in the Hamilton Co. Justice Center.
Janishcia's mother, who lives in Atlanta, was in court Friday. She
says the system failed her daughter and vowed to get to the bottom of
what happened and hold Job and Family Services accountable.