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Child support shock: Man gets bill for dead daughter

CINCINNATI (Angela Ingram) -- A man gets an 18,000 dollar child support bill from the state of Ohio for his daughter.
The problem is, she's been dead for 33-years.  Robert Heard beat and killed Tanya Hogan in Winton Terrace when she was just a toddler.  Job and Family Services says it never received any notice that Tanya died.  Officials there say notices were sent to her father in the past.  But Tanya's father says he didn't get the letters and the bill is bringing up painful memories.

James "Cowboy" Jennings has piles of paperwork from the Ohio Child Support office.  The state wants money to the tune of 18,000 dollars and has started taking it from his social security checks.

The paperwork claims Jennings still owes support for Tanya.  But Tanya was killed in 1981 on Winneste when she was 3-years-old.  Tanya Hogan's unmarked grave is at Spring Grove Cemetery.  Her father says to this day, it still brings back painful memories to speak about his daughter

"That's why when I got this, it just riled me back, it brought the dragon back out of cowboy," said Jennings.
Newspaper articles explain how Robert Heard beat Tanya because she wet her pants.  Heard was the boyfriend of Tanya's mother.  Hamilton County Job and Family Services says the Jennings's situation is rare.

Brian Gregg of Job & Family Services said, "We're hearing from someone that the child may have died at an early age.  Unfortunately our records don't show that, our normal social security matches don't show that.  We sent him notices over the years on this and they either went undelivered or unread or were ignored, one or the other."
So Local 12's Angela Ingram went to the Office of Vital Records finding the death certificate, which proves Tanya was the victim of a homicide.  Jennings says he just wants it all straightened out.

"They should've examined this and said where's this baby at, that's all I'm interested in.  I can't be held legal for 18,000 dollars, I can't do it," said Jennings.

Job and Family Services says for now the case is on hold and no more money will come from Jennings' checks.  There is still a possibility Jennings could owe some money for the three years that Tanya lived if he was obligated to pay and didn't.

In 1981 a jury convicted Robert Heard of involuntary manslaughter for killing Tanya Hogan.

Watch video HERE

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