The Effects of Child Neglect
Lane DeGregory, the St. Petersburg Times
reporter who broke Danielle's story, says she was surprised by the responses Danielle's mother gave during her interview. "She didn't think she'd done anything wrong. Despite all the evidence from the doctors and the detectives and the social workers, she just kept saying that she took care of Danielle the best she could," Lane says. "[She said] 'Danielle ate out of a baby bottle. She was hungry all the time. She was only skinny because her mother herself had been skinny when she was young and there was nothing wrong with her.'"
As for her state of mind, Lane says Danielle's mother was in denial. "She didn't take any responsibility for her actions. She felt a victim herself of bad luck, of the system, of police not talking to her."
When Lane asked if she had anything to regret, she says Danielle's mother said she regretted moving to Florida. "That was it. There was nothing about what had happened to her daughter or the condition that her daughter was in," Lane says. "Her only regret was moving here."