Inmate Begs Child Protective Services to Protect His Daughter, then She is Killed by the Mom’s Boyfriend

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Edward Mays was in the Dickson County Jail while his 18-month old baby daughter has died, allegedly at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend.  He sits there angry and frustrated at state officials, who, he says, he warned about the situation of his daughter.  But according to Mays, officials paid no heed to his warnings, and an innocent child is dead because of it.

Mays has been in jail since September on numerous charges including burglary, aggravated assault and failure to pay child support.  So, some might say that a non-support paying father hardly holds the moral high ground when speaking about his desire to protect his daughter.  At the same time, if there is reason for CPS to investigate, they should be on the job.

The 18-month old child, Somara Smith, died after being taken to the home of her great aunt by Edward Benesch, the boyfriend of the child’s mother, Jill Smith. Officials said Benesch dropped the girl off at her family’s home on Brookside Drive in Dickson just before 8 a.m. Thursday.

Benesch reportedly told the aunt that he fell on the baby and that something was wrong with her. Relatives said he then got in his car and sped off.   The child later tied, and then the boyfriend was taken into police custody shortly after and is charged with reckless homicide and child abuse.

Family members told NewsChannel 5 that Edward Benesch was watching Somara Mays while her mother, Jill Smith, was in jail.

According to Mays, he asked child services to take custody of his children weeks before the incident when his child died. “I can’t do nothing about anything right now,” said Mays. “I can’t go down there and pick out the flowers or her last little dress.”

Family members said he was concerned something like this could happen and he tried to get help. He was concerned his children were being abused and had been writing letters to the Department of Children’s Services from jail.

“Edward knew they were not in a good situation and he was writing children’s services. He called them twice,” said Somara’s aunt, Angie Manley.

DCS interim Commissioner Jim Henry said his agency is investigating and cooperating with police agencies.

Bruises were seen on the face of Somara last week by Nina Overton, Somara’s cousin. Overton said she took pictures but did not call authorities. She said the family had suspected abuse for weeks.

“I’m still in shock about it,” she said of Somara’s death. “It’s a sad situation because Jill Smith wasn’t taking care of these kids.”


  1. Kerri

    March 11, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Whoever was on that case, or should have been on that case, should lose their job. The mother needs to be imprisoned for negligent homicide, or reckless homicide, or something. However, that does not alleviate the biological father of guilt. IF he hadn’t been such a loser, and had chosen, instead, to properly support his daughter with a job, there’s a good chance he wouldn’t be in jail and that he could have been watching his daughter himself. Crime doesn’t pay and it costs your kids more than it costs you. Congratulations! All three of those adults are worthless and do not deserve to suck oxygen from the air. And let’s hope to heavens that the worthless mother never conceives again.

    • Regina

      March 13, 2013 at 10:49 pm

      The case worker should be charged with a major crime and jailed. This case worker should have a felony record. The mother need to be strung up and drawn and quartered.

      May that poor innocent child rest in peace.

  2. Yvonne

    March 11, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    This is so sad, Men please becareful who you let call your eggs!
    I guess i’m nosey cause if a child come around me with a bruise and i see it, trust me I’ll question how they get it.

    • Regina

      March 13, 2013 at 10:50 pm

      I agree 1,000,000%.

  3. Jordan

    March 11, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Men we need to re-teach ourselves about “SPERM”. It’s not just a nut , it’s who we are. Stop leaving your seed in some of these women regardless of color. We must be very selective when it comes to choosing a woman to have child(ren) with or by. We must change our mentally. Why was this child put in danger and why did this person “HATE” the innocent human? We pray for the child!

  4. Jordan

    March 11, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Correction-re-taught .

  5. Jordan

    March 11, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Allow this killer remain in jail until 2111. Damn coward!


    March 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I have just a few questions.

    1. Why did the mother leave her kids withthis man in the first place instead of her family?

    2. Why did’nt the cousin report the abuse that she took picture of in the first place.

    3. Why was’nt the father’s warnings taken seriously or at least investigated?

    4. What did the mother go to jail for and why did’nt the CYS take custody then?

  7. Truthbeliever

    March 12, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Poor innocent baby. She never had a chance. Two deadbeat parents.

  8. marcus davis

    March 12, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Maybe the father should have had enough sense not to end up in prison in the first place ,then he could have done something more concrete in raising and protecting his daughter.Worthless parents the pair of them.

  9. sandy

    March 12, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    EVERYONE FAILED THIS BABY! Father, Mother, Family Members, Family Protective Agencies, Friends. When daddy went to jail his baby was with mommy. When Mommy went to jail why did she leave the child with her boyfriend? Why didn’t family take her? Why take pictures of an abused child and not go to authorities? ALL of you let this baby die. Everyone turned their heads in the opposite direction. Yes the father put himself in a bad situation but he did reach out to the proper authorities. Family on the outside could have stepped up. When both parents are incarcerated the authorities look for extended family members NOT a boy friend or a girl friend. So much more to this story, so many questions. Why did family with free hands not take this child? How could you suspect abuse, take pictures and not take action. Her dad was ignored BUT YOU had the proof he needed. YOU ALL KILLED HER!

    • ester

      March 13, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      Sandy, you summed it up, they all failed the child.

  10. sandy

    March 12, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Very sad story. This child mattered and was worth someone fighting for her. The one whom tried messed his own life up so bad he rendered even his pleads for help to fall on deaf ears. But someone 100% could have and should have done something. No one will recognize the part they should have played…I don’t think anyone will feel they had a responsibility to act. Go cry around her tiny coffin for a few minutes to make it at least appear as though you actually had love for this murdered child.

  11. Odile

    March 13, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    His white girlfriend went back to her own and he must have despised the child. So sad.

  12. dmb

    March 13, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    I am so sick of hearing about innocent children being murdered! Yes, it happens in Canada too! This poor child was in danger. EVERYONE failed this baby, I agree with Sandy! If it’s not a boyfriend or girlfriend or parent, it is sadly the people paid to protect these kids…the police! And it is no one’s fault who did it, where the hell were the parents? In jail, both of them!! My son had only one parent raising him, his father was a deadbeat! But I was just that, a full time parent! My reward is a fine man who has respect for himself and his woman! We are talking about innocent children here people!!! Stop waiting for politicians to change things, they have paychecks to collect! Start with yourself….Hilary Clinton was dead-on when she said it takes a village. They do it still in Africa…everyone takes care of everyone’s children. Wake up black people, no one cares if we kill our own!!!

    • KIM

      March 15, 2013 at 12:12 am

      Why are you talking about Africa when the poor baby is not black? God rest your soul sweet child.

      • Really??

        March 15, 2013 at 4:36 pm

        Kim: that baby IS Black. No matter how you cut it. She was still a baby and she should not have died.
        I can’t stand to read about innocents being killed for no reason. Each person that had a hand in NOT doing something should be held responsible. That baby could not speak for herself.

  13. MIKKI

    March 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm


  14. shield

    March 13, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    These women are horrible never leave your baby around your new man alone. Women need to understand to not have kids if they are not married for at least a 2yrs that way stability would be insured and at the least the actual father would be present not another loser. Men take care of business you have to respect your penis stop spreading your seed. Do not listen to these rappers clamming it’s cool to spread your seed like that and be thugs. if the father wasn’t breaking the law he could’ve save his child.

  15. Peter D. Slaughter

    March 14, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Ironic with all these black people being killed how so many black people do not even know or seem to be aware of the genocide,eugenics,population control ( get rid of negrows agenda ) that is happening right in the faces of many black people all over the country.
    If you don’t believe me it’s happening now and not a conspiracy.
    Check how many are locked up or are being locked up,arrested and harrassed on daily.
    Who are making the gun and ammo being used to do all the killing of black people ?
    Do black people own or operated one gun factory ?

  16. Ann G.

    March 14, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    There is only one person I feel sorry for and that is the baby, who with 2 deadbeat parents did not stand a chance! If the father was that concerned about his baby, why did he not get a job, go to court and get posession of his child. I’m sorry but certain people should never have kids.

    • Regina

      March 31, 2013 at 2:53 am

      Why didn’t he pay his child support and play a more active role in this child’s life? He is just as responsible and that child’s mother.

  17. dj

    March 14, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    easier said than done. these females dont want us to be in the kids life they want the money.

    • Regina

      March 31, 2013 at 2:54 am


  18. kim

    March 15, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    This is a very sad story…gee the time he spent breaking into other peoples houses and stealing their possessions that they work hard for he could have spent that time trying to be there for his kid!I don’t care about any of these people who didn’t bother to protect the child.The only one I care about is but the baby!

  19. TeeB

    March 15, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    I am also confused as to why Child Services did not put the children into foster care while the mother served her time. I also do not understand why the families did not either take these children while both parents are incarcerated or call to have the children placed into foster care? As Sandy commented, everyone failed this baby. The mother and father need to be sterilized as well as the boyfriend. All that failed this baby need to be charged including the family members that stood by, saw and suspected abuse but did nothing.

  20. Michelle

    March 15, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    I agree everyone failed this baby. Being in the field I will say we don’t have the whole story so no one can say the CPS worker or anyone else should be fired. If it turns out there was a CPS case & they did not do what was in the best interest of the child then yes disciplinary action should be taken, but all the facts shoud be gathered first. We don’t know if the father really did make a reoort . Even though he sad he made reports and called & nothing was done. There has to be proof that the child was in danger to even try to remove the child from their home. If the mother provided shelter, food & necessities for the child what reason would there be to take the child away from the mother. I see it all the time where women are no longer involved with child”s father & they hop into a relationship with someone they know very little about & allow that man to move into their place & take care of their children. The baby’s father gets mad because someone else is in the home so they try to retaliate & say the child is being abused in the home. In this case the boyfriend was a piece of crap and should not have been allowed to take care of this baby. I have also seen families who take pictures & do not report because they want to build up a case first. It’s not up to the family to build up a case-leave it to the authorities & just report your concerns. If the father, mother and family were doing what they were supposed to do none of us would be commenting because the child would still b Alive.

  21. Robert Chisolm

    March 16, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Troy you have a point,but i would blame”EVERYBODY” involved. the entire social system is to blame,for this childs death. From the father,mother,boyfriend,relatives and CPS. Anyone who had contact whether blood,acquaintences or the child protective services,EVERYONE IS TO BLAME! EVIL FLOURISHES WHEN GOOD PEOPLE DO NOTHING!

  22. Sunny Johns

    March 18, 2013 at 9:48 am

    And this is why we as mothers cannot leave our childre with just anyone whether it be boyfriend, uncle, vousin, or even husband. And certainly a mother has observed the interaction between her children and others that would send up a signal not to leave her child(ren) with that person.

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