DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Dallas court has awarded Texas Child Protective Services custody of a one-year-old child whose throat was slashed early Monday. The girl will be in foster care until an April 10 hearing.
Mariah Busby was reportedly doing well late Tuesday, according to her aunt, Rhonda Choice, who is also the sister of the prime suspect in the attack, Danielle Busby.
“Just this morning they took her out of the coma,” Choice said of the baby, “and her big brown eyes were open and she smiled at us. And it just reminded me about the resilience that children have.”
The father of the girl said he cannot believe his estranged wife could have heart their child. James Busby said he hasnt’ been able to see Mariah since she was injured Monday morning.
“I don’t believe she just up and stuck that baby by herself like that,” James Busby said Tuesday night. “That ain’t her make-up.”
Before the incident, James Busby had last seen his wife and daughter Friday. he said there were no signs in his early morning phone call Monday that Danielle was having any difficulties with the paranoid schizophrenia she has been diagnosed with.
“She was good,” he said. “She was good; excited about it, and we had talked about telling her mom she was moving out.”
James Busby was out of town working when the incident occured. he said one of his relatives called with the news. Danielle called him from jail, he said, and he asked her what happened.
“She said, ‘James I love you and I love Mariah,” James Busby said. “She said, ‘Pray for me and have the church pray for me.'”
Tuesday’s CPS decision capped a whirlwind day of events in which Danielle Busby’s family members said they had tried to get help for her.
“Danielle was not a criminal last week, Danielle is not a criminal this week. Danielle is sick,” the woman’s aunt, Lannette Swinton, said. “She is not a criminal, she is sick.”
Swinton claims that, besides the three calls to Dallas Police, she has personally sought help from Texas Child Protective Services.
On March 19 she called a referral hotline and talked to CPS operator.
“They asked me, ‘Do you feel like the baby’s in immediate danger?’ I said, ‘that depends, because if Danielle starts hearing voices, yes, that baby is in danger. And if she’s going to start hearing voices she’s off her medication.’
Swinton tells CBS11 News that Danielle Busby has been diagnosed as paranoid-schizophrenic; that she went off her meds on doctor’s orders when she got pregnant, but that she didn’t go back on them after Mariah was born.
Swinton says the family knew Danielle wasn’t “right” for weeks and sought help.
Danielle Busby’s arrest affidavit paints a grim picture. When officers arrived Monday, they reportedly “found a bloody steak knife on the bed,” and there was a “pool of blood where the knife was found.”
Swinton believes it could’ve been avoided had a state agency listened.
“When you have two-to-three people that’s calling on the same situations seems like to me someone should have heard one of our cries about the baby,” she said.
CPS acknowledges getting a phone call on March 19 and attempted to follow up immediately, going to the house on two occasions and trying to reach someone by phone on a third day.
But no one called them back until after Monday’s attack.
Danielle Busby is in the Lew Sterrett Criminal Justice Center on a $150,000 bond.