CPS workers fired after death of Grand Prairie girl

GRAND PRAIRIE — A caseworker and supervisor have been fired following the death of a 4-year-old Grand Prairie girl.

A CPS special investigator has also resigned, according to Marissa Gonzales, a spokeswoman with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

All three employees were involved in an investigation into complaints involving the care of Leiliana Wright, who died in mid-March after suffering traumatic injuries. The complaints and investigation took place prior to the young girl’s death.

Police say throughout the last 24 hours of Wright’s life, she was beaten by her mother, 30-year-old Jeri Quezada, and her mother’s boyfriend, 34-year-old Charles Phifer.

According to a warrant for Quezada’s arrest, the mother admitted to using heroin the day she and her boyfriend allegedly beat Wright with a belt and bamboo stick after they discovered the young girl drinking her brother’s juice. The warrant also claims the mother admitted to leaving her child alone with Phifer, who she said put the child in a closet and tied her up in a way in which she couldn’t sit because the 4-year-old was "making herself throw up."

Police say she told investigators she later struck the child in the chest and head when the young girl had trouble swallowing her food. And at another point, Phifer allegedly picked up the child by her neck and thrust her against a wall, leaving what appeared to be an indention in the drywall of their home.

Paramedics were called to the home early in the morning on March 13 and noted the child had bruises on her face. Wright was pronounced dead at the Medical Center of Arlington. Three days later, he death was determined to be a homicide.

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Nikki Bolton