The biological mother of a 4-year-old girl found dead Tuesday says her child's death could have been prevented.
“This morning somebody came by and said a 4-year-old baby was found dead in there,” said a woman who lives near 30th and Franklin.
Neighbors near 30th and Franklin were shocked to hear about the death of 4-year-old Alicia Morrow. But, no one was more surprised than the suspect’s father.
“She was happy. It appeared that she loved to be part of the family,” said Kevin Cook.
Kevin Cook says his daughter Chelsey Cook took on the responsibility of caring for the little girl about a year ago with minimal assistance from the state.
“Knowing my daughter, this is the furthest thing from my mind, especially for a young lady at the age of 22 who is trying,” said Cook.
On Tuesday evening around 10 o’clock, police found the 4-year-old girl’s body inside Chelsey Cook’s home. A police report states that the death took place on Sunday. Cook has been booked on suspicion of criminal homicide.
“I know she is not a murderer, she is far from that,” said Cook.
Police have not released many details into Alicia’s death. Cook believes his daughter may not have had heat in her home.
“She may have been negligent in certain regards, but she’s definitely not a murder,” said Cook.
On Wednesday KMTV spoke with the little girl’s biological mother Lakisha Morrow. Morrow didn’t want to talk on camera but says for months she has been trying to get her daughter back from cook.
In a police report filed back September, Cook is listed as the victim.
DOCUMENT: OPD Incident Report from Sept. 27, 2015
The report states that Morrow asked Cook when she was going to give her daughter back. Cook said she was not going to and felt threatened by Morrow.
The report also says in December of 2014 Cook reminded Morrow that she signed a notarized letter stating that Morrow wanted her to care for her daughter and eventually adopt her.
Cook then told police she believed Morrow was upset because she needed to pay DHHS back for the time Alicia was not in her care.
Morrow denies the claims and says this never would have happened if Alicia was in her custody.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services tells KMTV Cook was eligible for assistance since October 2015 and received more than $1,600 dollars from economic assistance programs during December.
There's help out there if you need parental assistance, 1-888-866-8660.