Miami, Florida in 2017-
Naika Marie Venant was an exceptionally bright girl, a gifted child who soared academically; she was also funny, and she loved to dance. Naika had been intent on writing a novel about her life, she’d experienced so much heartache in her 14 years. Sadly she would never accomplish this, Naika would never even experience her first day of highschool. In January of 2017 this child’s life ended while she was using Facebook live.
Tragedy had been following Naika around for most of her life, there’s no telling whether she ever truly got to experience being a worry free child. It’s alleged that her mother, Gina, had been physically abusive with the 7 year old (excessive corporal punishment) which was the reason Miami DCF claimed to have taken over in the first place. Custody of this young girl was eventually given back to her mother, but Gina ultimately said she could no longer care for Naika. From here on this child was passed from one place to another, it’s said she lived in approximately ten different foster homes. She had been sick during this time, there are plenty of pictures of Naika being hospitalized for sickle cell. To top all of this off, while in care Naika was sexually abused by an older boy, and apparently her abuser was never brought to justice.
It should go without saying that this child had some emotional issues after enduring so much, who wouldn’t? As a teenager Naika had been acting up, the usual troubled teenaged girl behaviors. She was also suffering from depression, a condition which was being medically treated with Zoloft. While antidepressants such as this have been a life saver for many of us, with teens it can be hit or miss. While sometimes they help, they have been known to make things so much worse. One of the side effects can be suicidal thoughts; any child who is given this type of medication should be closely monitored. While Naika had expressed a will to die, it doesn’t appear that anyone ever took her too seriously.
In the very early morning hours of January 22nd in 2017, Naika took to Facebook Live; she had a number of watchers, and was obviously contemplating suicide. While many were trying to talk this gifted middle school student out of harming herself, others did the opposite; there was bullying. Naika’s own mother is said to have been one of those watching for a while, mother and daughter had often kept in through social media. Gina made a comment or two before she logged off; no, it does not appear that she was watching throughout the entire video.
Sadly Naika did take her own life that night, in her foster parents bathroom as they slept; the teenager fashioned a noose from a scarf, and hung herself from the shower door. 911 was called by a friend once Naika actually started to go through with it, and police attempted to find the foster child but tragically showed up to the wrong home. Naika died in that bathroom, with her friends present through Facebook; this Live stream lasted a total of 2 hours.
Naika’s Facebook account is now a memorial page, she’s under the name HotHead Nikee. After thoroughly scouring the account, well, we all know how cruel people can be; even in death people were bullying this girl. Mother Gina has posted many things to her daughter’s wall since this happened, including a photo of her child in the coffin. She comments of her belief that someone out of view from the camera that night had physically assisted in her daughter’s suicide; she posts about murder, and blames DCF completely.
It seems important to mention that Naika’s suicide came just weeks after 12 year old Katelyn Nicole Davis death, and the cases are similar enough. Aside from the short amount of time in which these deaths took place, both children endured abuse and neglect within their own home situations, and a live stream complete with bullies were involved. Katelyn’s death received a ton of attention online, as had others; it’s difficult not to wonder if this had any bearing on Naika’s actions that night. After my last article remembering Amanda and Katelyn, Naika needed to be next. Rest In Peace to each of these beautiful girls.
*Now, can we talk about Mother Gina? After doing some digging into mom’s side of things, my first instinct was to stick up for her; as a mother myself, that’s exactly what I had planned to do; then I completely changed my tune. Let me tell you why…
According to Gina’s posts, it appears that there had been a cycle of abuse in play, and thought that maybe Gina was trying to break said cycle. Mother Gina has written about the terrible abuse she’d suffered while growing up, and as a child Gina did finally place a call to child protective services (back then the agency went by HRS) on her own mother. Gina’s mother found out very quickly after she had blown the whistle, physically abused her for doing so, and a young Gina was forced to lie and cover for her abusers. During questioning Gina stated she’d invented all of the allegations, including sexual assault against her father figure, and she was forced to go on living with her abusers. People have been awfully nasty to this woman, and she has been harshly attacked for playing a role in Naika’s death. While Gina’s responses to this criticism have been venom filled, she’s also been adamant that as a mother she thought she was doing what was right for Naika by placing her back in foster care. Knowing what Gina has had to say about her own childhood, did she naively believe the system to be some sort of a safe haven for her child? Though she definitely made monumental mistakes, you can easily tell this mother is hurting; surely she wishes she could turn back time, if only that were possible. And that was the way I saw it, until I found this.
During her daughter’s final fb live in which she took her own life, Gina left a disturbing comment which read: “#ADHD games played u sad little DCF custody jit that’s why u where u at for this dumb shit n more u keep crying wolf u dead u will get buried life goes on after a jit that doesn’t listen to there parents trying to be grown seeking boys and girls attention instead of her books”.
There are screen shots of this, and yeah, it’s harsh. Gonna referring to her daughter as a “Jit” bothered me as is it a prison slang term for “jitterbug”; a jit is a know nothing newbie punk, and that’s saying it nicely. To call her own daughter that? Also, In an instance where your child is threatening suicide, even if it’s their hundredth attempt, this was heartless. Gina claims that she had been practicing “tough love” with her daughter, it is very possible that what Gina said helped push Naika over the edge. Gina has also posted to her daughter’s page about things which Naika had done and probably wasn’t proud of: taking illicit substances, having intimate relations, with both male and female, etc; as a mother, there’s just no way any mother worth her salt would’ve posted this on her page for all yo see after she was already deceased! All of this changed the way I was looking at this entire situation. Again, I don’t wish to bring more pain to Gina, I’m just telling you the full story to the best of my ability. Mom has since lawyered up, and it appears that she’s suing the agency which she blames for the death of her daughter. I’d love to hear your thoughts