Inmate urged DCS to take chilren before toddler was killed

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A jail inmate was reportedly urging state officials to take custody of his children when his toddler died.

The TBI said 18-month-old Somara Smith's mother was also in jail when her boyfriend brought the girl to a family member's house early Thursday, already dead.

Authorities charged 26-year-old Edward Benesch of Dickson with reckless homicide and child abuse.

Nina Overton, who is related to Somara's father, Edward Mays, told The Tennessean Mayes had written and called the Department of Children's Services over the last three weeks, saying they needed to get his children. Overton said Benesch had been left with Jill Smith's six children when Smith -- Somara's mother -- was also jailed.

DCS interim Commissioner Jim Henry said his agency is investigating and is cooperating with police agencies.


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