The city of Napa has agreed to pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the father and grandmother of Kayleigh Slusher, who was murdered in 2014.
Kayleigh was found dead in her bed in her mother’s apartment after being abused and neglected by her mother, Sarah Kreuger, and her boyfriend, Ryan Warner. Before that, her body was placed in a duffle bag and stuffed in a freezer for three days. She died from several blunt-force injuries to her torso, head and extremities.
According to the lawsuit, Napa police and child services were called to the 3-year-old’s home five times about possible abuse and drug use three weeks before she died. When police officers went into the home, they “would have seen that she was covered in bruises and in excruciating pain from a broken rib and the intestinal infection that was slowly killing her,” but the police officers did not do anything about it.
Kayleigh’s grandmother, Robin Slusher, and father, Jason Slusher, accused the city and county of failing to take the girl out of her mother’s home, despite obvious signs of abuse and neglect.
The settlement orders the city and county to each pay $2.5 million to the Slusher family over several years.
“While the county and Child Welfare Services maintains that CWS followed state law when responding to the complaint of abuse or neglect … we came to the decision that it was best to end the litigation and settle the case,” said Deputy County Executive Officer Molly Rattigan.
Rattigan added that Child Welfare Services has implemented changes to more closely review calls to its child abuse hotline.
“Kayleigh Slusher’s death was a terrible tragedy,” the city wrote. “The City and County of Napa have committed to doing everything in their power to prevent and protect other children from suffering child abuse and neglect.”
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