BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Donna McCollum - email
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Child advocates are not happy a man responsible for the death of a three-year-old Nacogdoches girl will spend no more than 12 years in prison, yet they won't let their emotions keep them from helping other children in need.
The little girl was known by few until after her violent death sent shock waves through a community. Kaylan Broumley was abused. She was shaken, burned and bruised until her little body could take no more.
"Kaylan's no longer here and it's really hard to find anything comforting to say," said Rebecca Carlton, executive director at CASA.
Words are difficult, so CASA, a court appointed advocacy group for abused children, will instead concentrate on action.
"What happened to her marks the change, at least in our program, the direction where things got a lot busier," Carlton said.
Child abuse reports more than doubled the days after Kaylan's death last year. The silence about child abuse ended.
"Since Kaylan's death our case load has increased by about 65 percent and it hasn't let up," Carlton said.
There are more children in need of court room advocates than volunteers. CASA's volunteer roundups are efforts to meet the need. A balance seldom occurs.
"We swore in seven new volunteers and all of them had cases waiting for them and we've gotten more cases since then and we have about four cases waiting," Carlton said.
Their role is to serve the child's needs, but remain silent when justice is less than expected.
"I'll pray a lot," volunteer Paulette Wright said. "I may even cry some tears, but ultimately I'll accept it."
Yet these dedicated volunteers will never accept child abuse, nor forget Kaylan.
"She will always be a part of the CASA program," Carlton said.
Kaylan's mother, Joy Simmons, has never been arrested or charged with her daughter's death. However, affidavits indicate she may have known of her daughter's abuse. Kaylan's death is still under investigation. Meanwhile, her siblings remain in foster care.