ATLANTA — Baby Dinah was removed from life support Monday afternoon after the badly abused girl's incarcerated parents were scheduled to say goodbye to her.
The process began at 12:06 p.m. Monday, according to a court official, and Dinah died a few hours later with her parents by her side.
Justin Whited’s mother says other relatives gave the couple advice to keep the Department of Family and Children's Services from getting involved.
“They were told not to take her until her bruises and her face healed, and then take her,” Kimberlee Page said. “She would be here today if she would have been taken to the hospital when it happened.”
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The charges against Justin Whited could escalate now that Dinah has died. Dinah’s mother, Jamie Cason Whited, has been charged with child cruelty, asserting she failed to protect her child.
“I know she’s in heaven right now,” Page said.
Dinah had been on life support for three months at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. After both parents agreed to terminate life support, Walton County Juvenile Court Judge David Dickinson issued the order to remove "all life support measures, and to allow Dinah Paige Whited to die."
Justin Whited initially objected to allowing the removal procedure. But at a dramatic court hearing Wednesday, he wept while watching a video of the child motionless in her tiny hospital bed, and he changed his mind after a short meeting with his wife.
The judge’s order noted that Dinah had been admitted to Egleston on April 23, and she exhibited “catastrophic brain injuries and multiple broken bones.” Medical testimony during the hearing indicated she had no chance of recovery.
“In short, the injuries are the result of physical abuse being committed against the child,” said the judge’s order.
Walton County officials are working to determine whether Justin Whited will face murder charges. The couple also has a 2-year-old son who has been in state custody since their arrests.