Napa city, county pay $5 million to settle suit over child's murder

Michael Cabanatuan, San Francisco Chronicle, January 2, 2019

The city of Napa and Napa County will pay $5 million and change how they handle child abuse and neglect cases to settle a lawsuit over the gruesome 2014 torture and murder of a 3-year-old girl that drew national attention. Kayleigh was tortured and murdered in 2014 by her mother and her mother’s boyfriend, who stuffed her body in a duffel bag and stuck it in a freezer for three days before placing it in her bed. … The agencies have also agreed to make changes in their training and policies on how child welfare cases are handled, said Julia Sherwin, the attorney who handled the lawsuit for the child’s father and grandparents. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, says Kayleigh died in part because of the failure of police and social service workers to recognize that the girl was “suffering abuse, neglect and was in immediate physical danger in her home due to the conduct, crimes and activities” of Krueger and Warner. Police had made multiple visits to the house. … “I don’t have words to describe the pain and agony I have experienced since Kayleigh’s death,” Jason Slusher said in a statement. “It never goes away. But I want to make sure no child ever suffers the way Kayleigh did.” Sherwin, the attorney, said the settlement satisfied the family’s demand that the city and county work to better protect children against child abuse. “They were always insistent Kayleigh’s death not be in vain and they were successful,” she said.





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