Family reacts to police department woes

April 29, 2009 4:17:10 AM PDT
The grandfather of a 3-year-old girl, who died and sparked an investigation into the department, is speaking out.Jerome Gattis says he hopes there will be changes in Spring Lake so no one will have go through what he had to.

In March 2006, Gattis' granddaughter Anijah Burr died in her Spring Lake apartment. Investigators say it happened at the hands of her mother's abusive boyfriend Dominic Best.

"When they found her she was face down," Gattis said. "Dominic was standing over her and she had blood stains on her lower part of the body."

Her death is one of the main reasons the Spring Lake Police Department is no longer allowed to investigate felony crimes.

Gattis says he told police that Best had molested his 13-year-old daughter a month before Burr died.

"I carried her to the hospital, I asked her what was wrong and she said Dominic had gave her a glass of water, what she thought was water, but it had alcohol in it," He said. "She says it was him and another guy that molested her."

Not only that, the 13-year-old told social workers at the hospital that Best was mistreating her and the 3-year-old.

"She told them how Dominic was molesting them, how he was putting Anijah in a suitcase and putting her in a room, wasn't feeding her and everything," Gattis said. "But I reported all of that to Social Services and Spring Lake Police Department."

And Gattis says Spring Lake Police did nothing.

Best is now awaiting trial in the Cumberland County Detention Center.

Burr's grandfather says he is awaiting some justice and he may get that in the form of some changes at the Spring Lake Police Department.


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