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DCYF announces internal review into 9-year-old girl’s death

January 16, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The director of Rhode Island’s child welfare agency says one employee has been suspended and three others have been put on limited duty following the death of a 9-year-old girl.

Department of Children, Youth and Families Director Trista Piccola choked back tears Wednesday as she denounced the “unacceptable” conditions of the Warwick home where Zah-Nae Rothgeb was found dead in a bathtub earlier this year.

Michele Rothgeb, Zah-Nae’s adoptive mother, has been charged with cruelty or neglect of a child.

Her attorney declined to comment.

Piccola announced an internal review that will look at why Rothgeb was allowed to care for eight special-needs children in one home. Zah-Nae who had cerebral palsy. She said she isn’t aware of any other home the agency monitors that has eight or more children.

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