A US father has been left heartbroken after his four-year-old daughter was killed during an investigation into abuse at the hand of her mother and her mother's partner.
Mickhal Garrett asked for full custody of his daughter Aniya in December 2017 after the girl's relatives noticed signs of abuse, News 5 Cleveland reports.
"I truly, truly, truly feel as though our daughter is being abused at home physically/mentally and that her life could possibly be in danger," he wrote.
He had confronted Aniya's mother, Sierra Day, when he discovered bruises and cuts on the girl - but Day responded by refusing further contact and stopping visitations between Mr Garrett and Aniya.
Odd injuries had been noticed on Aniya as far back as 2015, when her daycare noticed blood leaking from her ear and took her to get medical care, as well as notifying Child Family Sevices (CFS).
The daycare later notified state welfare officials of bumps, bruises, cuts and other injuries in April 2016.
Mr Garret had a pre-trial custody hearing for Aniya on February 26, 2018, following his earlier letter concerned for her welfare.
Another hearing was set for March 15, but it was too late as Aniya was found burned and unresponsive on March 11.
She was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. Authorities say the cause of her death was blunt force trauma to the head.
Day and her boyfriend Deonte Lewis have been charged with her death.
On Monday, the Cuyahoga County CFS spokesperson issued a statement on the incident following a protest by Mr Garrett.
"We know that we are expected to see and recognise patterns of abuse and neglect, and if the internal investigation determines we did something wrong there will be discipline," it said.
"We will continue to cooperate with police and the prosecutor."