Mom of 11-year-old found dead in freezer has 15 year history of abuse investigations

MANATEE COUNTY, FL — The mother of an 11-year-old girl found dead in a family freezer in Bradenton last week has a 15-year history of investigations into abuse and several instances of alleged violence involving her five children, according to state records released by The Department of Children and Families Tuesday.

Keishanna Thomas appeared in a Manatee County courtroom Tuesday for approximately the eighth time since questions first arose about her daughter Janiya’s disappearance. Monday, prosecutors confirmed that Janiya’s body was positively identified as the child relatives found frozen in a family freezer on October 18th.

The abuse reports, released hours after 8 on Your Side attorneys pressed DCF to make those reports public, detail a long history of investigations dating back to 2000.

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE: Investigative report on Janiya Thomas case

Investigations of family violence starting in 2004 range from the confirmed physical abuse of a disabled daughter—whom prosecutors said in court has cerebral palsy—to the alleged beating of a boy with an electrical cord, which Manatee County Sheriff’s Department abuse investigators determined had an “insufficient” basis, to the final abuse investigation involving the beating of a boy which ultimately revealed Janiya Thomas was dead.

The final report, involving Janiya’s 12-year-old brother concludes, “The children have been determined unsafe due to the danger threat presented by the mother due to her inability to properly discipline her children, control her violent tendencies, or cooperate with investigation.” The investigators insisted, “The mother does not take responsibility for any of the issues or violent behaviors.”

Reggie Adams, the father of two of Thomas’ five children, appeared in Dependency Court Tuesday with the goal of reclaiming his kids, a 12-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter. “I’ll be glad when this is all over and done with because everybody is suffering especially my children,” Adams told 8 on Your Side after the hearing. “The only thing I am interested in right now is the well-being of my children, that’s it.”

The report released Tuesday indicated that Thomas is pregnant. The Manatee County Sheriffs office insists that she is not pregnant.

Keishanna Thomas remains in jail. The murder investigation involving Janiya is ongoing.

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