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Mother of 10-year-old found dead charged with reckless homicide

Posted at 12:38 PM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 14:59:33-05

MILWAUKEE — Henrietta Rogers, 46, has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide after her daughter, 10-year-old Jada Clay was found dead in her home on February 10.

The incident began around 8 p.m on February 10 when police got a call that a dead body had been found at a home in the 4700 block of N. 44th Street.

Officers responded to the scene where they found Clay's body which was cold to the touch. According to a criminal complaint, officers believed Clay had been dead for a couple of hours when they arrived.

Also on the scene were Clay's brother and sister, who told police they found Clay's body and called 911. Clay's sister told police she lived on the scene with Clay and her mother, Rogers.

Police interviewed Clay's sister who said Clay had been acting up recently, refusing to let Rogers put braids in her hair. Rogers threatened to take Clay's TV privileges away and then proceeded to do so.

Then, on the morning of the 10th, Clay's sister said Clay was still acting up. She told police Clay and Rogers went into the bathroom where Rogers was again asking Clay to let her put braids in her hair.

Clay was continuing to refuse. According to the Criminal Complaint, that's when Clay's sister told police she heard a loud bang from the bathroom.

When she went inside, she saw Clay laying on the ground at the feet of Rogers, the vanity sink was loose from the wall and had fallen towards the toilet, and Rogers was holding the mirror that had fallen off the wall.

Prosecutors say Clay's sister did not see any injuries on Clay and helped her off the floor and into her bedroom. Clay's sister told Clay to get ready for school and closed the door.

That's when Rogers asked Clay's sister for money for gas and left the home.

When Rogers hadn't returned in time to take Clay and her sister to school, Clay's sister said she decided the two would walk.

Clay refused, according to the complaint, so Clay's sister left, assuming Rogers would be back soon to take Clay to school. She locked the second door, and the front door as she left.

According to prosecutors, Clay's sister and Rodgers were the only two people with keys to the home.

After the school day ended, Clay's sister called Rogers to have her come pick her up, but Rogers did not reply. That's when Clay's sister called Clay's brother to come get her.

The two ran some errands and arrived home around 8 p.m. That's when they found the front door was still locked, but the second door was ajar. The two entered the home and found Clay's body.

Police later found Rogers at Schlitz park, near Aurora Urgent Care, where she was visibly upset and crying. The officers were informed that Rogers' daughter had been found dead in her home.

Police then told Rogers her daughter had been found seriously injured in her home and asked Rogers if they could search the area. Prosecutors say Rogers said no. According to the complaint, Rogers got agitated and was wondering why officers were questioning her. She did not ask about Clay or her condition during her entire interaction with the police.

That's when she was taken into custody.

If Rogers is convicted, she could face a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison.

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