Rachel Fryer, the Sanford mother charged with murdering her 2-year-old daughter, has reached out to News 13, saying in a handwritten letter from jail that she's behind bars for a crime she didn't commit.
In the letter, included below in its entirety ▼, Fryer asks for help, saying she wants the public to know she is not guilty of killing her daughter, Tariji Gordon.
Fryer previously admitted to burying the 2-year-old in a shallow grave in February after investigators said Fryer killer the toddler.
But in a four-page, handwritten letter addressed to News 13 and postmarked Tuesday, July 22, 2014, Fryer blamed the Florida Department of Children and Families for not helping her. She said she repeatedly reached out to DCF for help caring for her children when the agency returned them back over to her in November 2013.
In part of the letter, unedited here, Fryer writes:
I am reaching out to the community for help. Anyone that agrees, Department of Children and Families is not around when you need them, and plead for help. You ask them numerous of time, and you receive no help. They are so quick to tear your family apart, and traumatize your children.
Investigators say Fryer is responsible for injuries to Tariji Gordon's body that led to the 2-year-old girl's death.
We approached Sanford police Thursday for an update on the case. Officials there said they are wrapping up an investigation into the death of Fryer's son, Tavontae Gordon — Tariji's twin brother — in 2011, when he was just 2 months old. Police reopened that death investigation after Fryer was arrested for Tariji's murder earlier this year.
DCF tells News 13 these claims by Fryer are nothing new, adding that Community Based Care of Central Florida is contracted by the state to provide and manage foster care.
We are reaching out to Community Based Care for a more detailed response on Fryer's accusations in her letter.
A grand jury indicted Fryer on five counts in March, including first-degree murder. Prosecutors are seeing the death penalty against Fryer.
Rachel Fryer's letter to News 13
John E. Polk Correctional Facility
211 Bush Blvd.
Sanford, FL 32773
Attn: Channel 13 News
20 North Orange Ave. Suite 13
Orlando, FL 32801
Postmarked July 22, 2014 — Orlando, FL
To whom it may concern:
My name is Rachel Fryer, and I am reaching out to the public for help with my case. But first and foremost I would like to pray for my children, pray that they are OK, and not being harmed or mistreated. I think about them all day, every day, and I pray for them all every night.
I tried my best to be a good mom. I worked very hard to be in my children's lives. Despite nobody wanting to help me or my children. A single mother with a mental illness and no immediate family, because they are all deceased. A mother that has been a victim of domestic violence with broken bones, and bruises, physically and emotionally abused, a mother who has had a stroke at a young age. A mother who has been diagnosed by two doctors with major depression disorder and anxiety. Mother has had a nervous breakdown.
I was reaching out to DCF for help but turned down every time. I was coping with a 3-year-old (Taraji) that was not adjusting to reunification, and acting out.
She would not listen, and would inflict wounds to herself, pick at her skin until it bled and would pick off the scabs after it has healed. She would scratch and bite her parents and siblings, do things out of spite and cause trouble for no reason at all.
I tried taking my daughter on special outings, just the two of us, and spend more time with her by herself, shopping or going out to eat. I would teach her how to say her ABC's and 123's, because she would act like she didn't know them. She would poop in her pull-up and hide it behind the refrigerator or under the cabinets. I bought her a potty chair, and was working on potty training her. I began to wonder why my soon-to-be in less than 3 months was not potty trained, and does not know how to pick up her toys, or put on her shoes and strap them.
No one told me she had any mental issues, she would seem depressed. Department of Children and Families told me that they would send two of my children home at a time, and the other two home at a later date, so I would not be overwhelmed. They lied, they sent all four of my children home at once.
What mother that loves her kids would say take two of the kids back? A mother that loves her kids is going to struggle and do the best that she can.
I am not a drug addict, murderer, abusive parent. I am a mother that has suffered many losses, and had no help from anyone. I turned myself into jail. What parent commits a crime and turns they self in? After allegedly murdering her child?
Yes, I had a nervous breakdown, and was afraid of Department of Children and Families taking my babies from me. I worked hard two years to get them back.
I am reaching out to the community for help. Anyone that agrees, Department of Children and Families is not around when you need them, and plead for help. You ask them numerous of times, and you receive no help. They are so quick to tear your family apart, and traumatize your children. When there is no urgent need, and it seems like the media makes your situation worse, by editing certain things. You never see any positive things on the news. It's so focused on the negative areas for ratings.
Do you really care, about my daughter who passed away from an accident? Or my kids that are in the system? So ready to judge a book by its cover, but where was your help? For a single mother with a mental illness who tried her best to save her children, love her children, but the system failed her and her children, and I now I am incarcerated for a charged that I am not guilty of.
I am worried about my babies. I miss them so much. I pray that they are OK, I miss Taraji, and it's a tragic that she is not here, and I have yet to lose another child, but I know God is an amazing God, and he can do anything, and I have faith that he will watch over my children, and protect them.