Records show family of killed 8-year-old Amari Hall had prior DFCS cases

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News obtained state records which show welfare investigators had three previous cases with the mother now accused of murdering her own daughter.

Amari Hall was reported missing Nov. 21, and police found her body days later.

Channel 2′s Tony Thomas asked state leaders if this mother had been on their radar since 2015, why were these children living in this alleged abusive situation?

“The Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Family & Children Services’ (DHS) previous history regarding Nicole Amari Hall consisted of unsubstantiated investigations in 2015 and 2017, along with a report received in 2021 that contained no allegations of abuse or neglect. Based on these records, DHS had no reason to believe the child was in imminent danger. We are working closely with law enforcement to assist them in their investigation, and to ensure the safety and well-being of the mother’s other children,” a DHS spokeswoman said.

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In the hours after Brittany Hall reported her daughter Amari missing, and before she was arrested along with her partner in the 8-year-old’s death, Georgia Division of Family and Children Services investigators spoke with Hall about her situation and took her two living kids into state protection.

Hall told investigators she had been struggling with Amari’s behavior and had called three adoption agencies, but then decided not to go through with it. She told the investigator she would do anything to get her children back.

Hall’s partner, Celeste Owens, is accused of beating Amari in the head and dumping her body two days before Hall called 911 claiming her daughter was missing.

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Police say she knew the real story all along.

Hall told investigators she worked as a spiritual guide and doesn’t have any support system in place. The DFCS report shows three previous contacts with her. All three cases are closed but there are few details.

The investigator wrote “family has history that does not relate to current concerns.” About the most recent allegations topics listed were inadequate supervision, bruises, welts and abrasions.

“We have no motive or what may have triggered Celeste Owens to do such heinous acts to Amari,” Gwinnett County police officer Hideshi Valle said.

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Police said Hall knew what was going on and participated in some of the prior abuse.

Thomas spoke with a sister of Hall who said the family isn’t ready to talk publicly yet but plan to in the future.

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