Video of hearing to reunify family before young girl's death released



SANFORD, Fla. - Channel 9 Eyewitness News has obtained video of the court hearing where Rachel Fryer was allowed to be reunified with her children before one of them was killed.
The hearing was held after Fryer's children were removed from her home following the death of her 2-month-old son, Tavontae Gordon. Investigators said he died from suffocation when Fryer rolled over on him while he was sleeping.
Two months after the hearing, Fryer, 32, was accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Tariji Gordon. Tariji was the twin sister of Tavontae.
In the hearing the judge appeared to be concerned about Fryer and her ability to care for the kids.
Channel 9 reporter Tim Barber learned that Fryer was having financial difficulties so she was having trouble paying for food, rent and day care. Fryer told the judge she was ill, and because of that was missing work.

During the 18th Judicial Circuit Court hearing, Judge Donna McIntosh asked about safety concerns, but no one, including the case worker, the attorney for the children's guardian, or Florida Department of Children and Families, expressed concerns.
The children were reunified with their mother on Nov. 17.
Officials said reports they had showed the children were happy to be at home with Fryer.
Fryer is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Tariji.

Tariji had been in the care of a foster parent until the judge ordered the girl and her three siblings to be returned to Fryer.

Tariji's body was discovered in a shallow grave in Putnam County in February.

Fryer claimed her daughter stopped breathing and, instead of calling 911, she tried to give her CPR.

According to police, Fryer said she then drove the little girl's body to Putnam County to bury her.