The mother of a 4-year-old girl who police say died as a result of a caretaker’s abuse has told News Center Maine (WCSH/WBLZ) that she wants answers about why the state didn’t do a better job of protecting her daughter.

Alicia Chick was staying at the Oxford Street Shelter when she got the news that her daughter, Kendall Chick, had died on Dec. 8, 2017, the Portland TV station reported.

The mother said her daughter had been taken away from her when they were living in a Lewiston apartment in 2016 due to her drug addiction. Chick, 36, said she requested that Kendall live with her grandfather, Stephen Hood, and his fiancée, Shawna Gatto, in Wiscasset. Gatto is now in jail charged with depraved indifference murder in the girl’s death.

“I don’t understand. These were people I knew. I trusted these people,” said Alicia Chick, who was panhandling in the median on Forest Avenue in Portland with a sign pleading for help, explaining her daughter had been murdered, the TV station reported.

Chick doesn’t want this to happen to another child in Maine and says she’s looking for a lawyer to help sue the DHHS.

“The state needs to do better,” she said. “They need to do their job more thoroughly.”

The Legislature’s watchdog agency released its report last month on failures of the state’s child protective services in Kendall’s case and the death of another girl, Marissa Kennedy, 10.

And Gov. Paul LePage said last week that the state’s child protection system didn’t do all it could have to prevent the deaths of Kendall and Marissa.

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