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Family searching for answers after girl’s death on school bus

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The family of a little girl with special needs continues to mourn her death and search for answers. Jamiah batts died on her school bus last month.

“You couldn’t not love her,” Jamiah’s mother Shantelle Colvin said. “She’d make your day. All she had to do was smile, and that was your day. You (were) happy for the rest of the day.”

Colvin says her daughter was a miracle baby. Jamiah had cerebral palsy. She died February 29 after being put on the bus to Rachel Freeman Elementary.

“I feel like there was some neglect,” Jamiah’s great aunt Alfredia McDonald said.

McDonald and Jamiah’s mom and dad, met with an assistant district attorney Friday to get more details about the investigation, but the toxicology reports and autopsy are not complete.

The family has many unanswered questions, like why was not an adult monitor on the bus, and why was there not a camera on board.

In their time of grief, they say they find strength in Jamiah’s smile.

“She is going to be missed,” Jamiah’s father Marvin Batts said. “She won’t be forgotten.”

When the facts are known, Jamiah’s family hopes to make some changes. They even have plans to push for changes in state law about the way special needs children should be handled and monitored on a school bus.

“Someone dropped the ball, and when it comes down to special needs children, there is a lot that you have to consider,” McDonald said.

Although at this time, investigators do not believe the incident to be criminal, the family says they still plan to take legal action.

Jamiah was not living with her parents at the time of her death. Instead she was in a group home.

Her funeral is scheduled for this afternoon.

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