A heartbroken mother whose children were taken from her two years ago has committed suicide, her devastated family says. And, tragically, the day after they said Tanya Simpson committed suicide, her family was told she could finally be reunited with one of her estranged children. It was the message Tanya had prayed for—and it came too late.
The 29-year-old, whose body was found at her home in Northfield on March 2, had left notes for her nine-year-old daughter and four-year-old son, her family said. One said, “I love you, I can’t live without you.”
Incredibly, a simple, superficial scratch on the daughter’s face was the catalyst for the family’s breakup. Her school contacted police about the injury. The police were called and Tanya candidly admitted that she accidentally caused the minor injury while rocking the child’s face.
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A document, in the possession of the family, reveals that Birmingham Children’s Trust, responsible for childcare in the city, removed the children because of the injury. The paper also points to concerns about Tanya’s mental health.
Her daughter is placed with grandparents Ed and Linda, her son with his father. Tanya had access to them twice a week.
Before that, there was no involvement of the social services in the care of the young people, her family insists. Today they bravely opened their hearts to the unbearable loss – and demanded to know why the Birmingham social workers took so long to solve the case.
Sister Kimberly fought back tears and said, “I can’t help but hate them. They don’t realize what they’ve done to my family, what they’ve done to the children. You can see the pain in the little boy’s face. They separated those kids. How can you break up two kids who have been together for so long?
“Mom and father have lost their daughter. Adding to their pain, they received a phone call the next day to inform them that it had been decided that Tanya could have her daughter back. A social worker handling the case told my mother that an arrangement had been made to change the plan so that she could return to live with her mother. We don’t understand why the children had separate social workers.”
She angrily added: “If my sister hadn’t been an unemployed single mother, if she had the money to pay a lawyer, this wouldn’t have happened. If we had had the money to pay a lawyer, this wouldn’t have happened.
Kimberly, from Weoley Castle in Birmingham, has claimed her sister told police, who decided not to take action, and social workers that she would kill herself. And Tanya certainly jumped through hoops trying to get the kids back, according to the paperwork she pulled from her house.
She underwent hair strand tests to prove she was drug-free. She underwent tests to prove that she was not addicted to alcohol. She even took an anger management course. “She was an amazing mother,” said 31-year-old Kimberley.
“She lived for her children, she would never hurt her children. My sister has never had a drinking problem. She had a problem with emotions and was going to drink, but that was when she was 16 and 17.
“And that was the problem. What they added to Tanya’s plan happened when she was a teenager. What happened was an accident. She was getting her daughter ready for school and she didn’t listen to her mother. Tanya put her hands on her face and accidentally scratched her. She had very long nails.
“Police said they might charge her but dropped the case. We are upset about the time it took them to make that decision. What social workers said was wrong. I see the heartbreak on my sister’s face. Twice a week she saw her children at her mother’s house. She couldn’t handle the pain. The only time my sister was happy was when she saw her children.
“She trained as a truck driver, so she had a decent job when she got them back. I was the last to speak to Tanya. She told me she couldn’t live without her children. I said ‘there is always hope’ and she told me, ‘you don’t understand – I can’t live without my children’. She couldn’t live without her kids.”
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Kimberley believes the case has been delayed because it was transferred from one social worker to another. “Once someone else took over, they would start over,” she said. There will be an inquest into the death, but the family has stated that Tanya committed suicide.
And Kimberley revealed that her sister called 911 and told them what she had done. An ambulance arrived at 8pm, but it took some time for police to gain entry to the property.
Tanya’s father, 54-year-old Ed, said: “It’s like it’s not real. She did talk about it (take her own life), she tried to do it, but no one would listen. We went to the doctors and it was like talking to a wall. She was a good mother, it was an accident, but it was like talking to a wall. We were pushed from pillar to post.” “No one we turned to would listen,” he added.
A spokesperson for Birmingham Children’s Trust, responsible for childcare in the city, said: “While we cannot comment on individual cases, we extend our condolences to the family following this tragic event.”
Tanya’s funeral will be at Lodge Hill Cemetery and Crematorium on March 30.
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