by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:
FORSYTH, Ga - The father of a child found severely beaten and unresponsive in her Monroe County home only spoke to Channel 2 Action News.
As Channel 2 told you Thursday, authorities arrested the girl's mother and her boyfriend for the death of 5-year-old Heaven Woods.
Police say the woman tried to blame all of this on someone else, an unnamed friend.
Heaven's father says he’s learning many details on the case as we are and he is devastated.
“She was just, she was just a kid to be loved,” said Anthony Woods fighting back tears.
Woods says there is so much he wants to say, but wants to let this GBI investigation to unfold some more first.
At this point, he wants the community to know he loved his daughter and was a part of her life.
"Never left the scene, never. I tried," Woods said.
Woods says he still can't wrap his mind around the fact that his child is gone.
State investigators have ruled Heaven Wood's death a homicide. They say she was beaten so badly, she died from blunt force trauma to her stomach.
Investigators say Heaven lived with her mother, Amanda Hendrickson in Rome. That was until early May, when they moved to the Forsyth home in Monroe County to live with Hendrickson's new boyfriend.
Tuesday, paramedics responding to a 911 call found Heaven inside the home unresponsive.
According to the police report, "The child had visible evidence of possible abuse." Forsyth officers say Hendrickson said "her child had been staying with a friend in Rome, and was sick when she came back last night."
“It appears that the abuse was not something that had just started," said Sherry Lang with the GBI.
Lang says the state medical examiner discovered the child had several injuries.
"Some of those injuries were fresh and new. Some were old injuries that had healed,” Lang said.
Lang says Hendrickson has a history with the state’s child welfare agency, The Department of Family and Children Services.
Police arrested Hendrickson, 33, and boyfriend Roderick Buckner, 34, for felony child cruelty. Hendrickson also faces a count of making false statements.
Anthony Woods said his grief has only just begun following the tragedy of his daughter’s sudden death. He says he's not prepared to discuss the case or allegations in the mother's past. Right now, he is focusing on his daughter.
"It's just hard to explain. It really is. It's the only thing I can give right now," Woods said.
Woods says he and his family are handling all funeral arrangements. They have established the Heaven Woods Memorial Benefit Burial at Wells Fargo Bank.
Wells Fargo Checking Account #9213107122
Heaven Woods Memorial Benefit Burial
C/O Anthony M. Woods
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