Posted on Sat, Jul. 10, 2004

Warnings ignored, dad says

Red flags ‘obvious’ in toddler’s death

The Journal Gazette

For months, Brad May says he tried to warn child welfare, court and police officials that his daughter, Brieana “Breezy” Jaide Noe, was in danger.

His warnings failed, but he hopes his daughter’s death will serve as a reminder to local officials the next time a parent shows up expressing concerns.

Brieana, who would have turned 3 on Aug. 15, was found in a state of decomposition inside her mother’s apartment at 5823 B Brighton Meadows Drive onWednesday.

Her mother, Judi L. Noe, 35, is being held at the Allen County Jail without bail and is charged preliminarily with felony battery. She is expected to make her next appearance in court Tuesday.

Judi Noe told a detective that she wrapped her daughter in towels June 19, placed her in a water-filled bathtub and restrained her as she struggled to get away from the shower water beating on her face until she “stopped struggling and her eyes rolled back in her head,” a probable cause affidavit said.

She did not seek medical treatment for her daughter, nor did she remove her from the apartment, the affidavit said.

“My goal in life was to get (Brieana) away from Judi,” May said.

May and Noe dated in 2000 and after they split up, he found out she was pregnant. According to May, Noe initially told him if he placed his name on the birth certificate, she would make sure he wasn’t allowed to see Brieana.

Out of fear, May – who has the image of his daughter’s smiling face when she was 2 months old tattooed on the inside of his left arm – complied.

He had, however, attended her birth and spent many weekends with her during the first year. Then he decided to establish paternity, to protect his parental rights.

Eventually, May was named as Brieana’s father on the birth certificate, but for nearly a year, he said he wasn’t able to see his daughter as he sought visitation rights.

In February, an Allen Superior Court judgment found Noe in contempt for her “willful denial of parenting time” between May and Brieana.

With each visit to see his daughter, May and his wife, Tami, grew more concerned about Brieana’s safety. In the last year, the Brighton, Mich., man said he made visits to Fort Wayne to speak with the county prosecutor’s office, the Fort Wayne police department and child protective services. May said he had asked officials to make home visits.

Messages left Friday night with officials from the county prosecutor’s office and child protective services were not returned.

May said he had paid an attorney to work on his daughter’s behalf. The attorney was scheduled to visit Noe’s apartment by Aug. 5 to review Brieana’s living arrangements, May said. A call to the attorney Friday night was not returned.

In April, May called Fort Wayne police to a restaurant at Jefferson Pointe after Noe interrupted a visit and attempted to take Brieana away. Noe yanked on May’s arm a few times and made a scene, according to a police report.

The report indicates there were several witnesses, but they were not interviewed and Noe was not arrested. Later, May said the prosecutor’s office told him they could do nothing because police hadn’t arrested Noe.

If any of the officials had acted, May believes his only daughter might still be alive.

Instead, he is planning her funeral.

“I threw up every red flag I could,” he said. “I was scared to death … If it was so obvious to me, I don’t know why no one else could have known.”

May’s next visit with Brieana was supposed to be today.

Instead, his attorney called him with the news of her death after reading a story in The Journal Gazette. May never received notification of his daughter’s death from police or the coroner’s office.

The Mays described Brieana as smart with a good sense of humor, and said that they cringe when thinking about her death, the sight of her body and the idea she was left to decompose for nearly three weeks.

The Allen County Coroner’s Office performed an autopsy Thursday but has not yet ruled on the cause of Brieana’s death or whether it is a homicide.