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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. — The aunt of a 13-month-old that died after being left in a vehicle is suing the child’s mother and the Department of Human Resources over his death.

Birmingham attorney Tommy James said they filed the wrongful death lawsuit this week against the boy’s mother, Elizabeth Anne Case, the state Department of Human Resources, and the director and program director of the Limestone County Department of Human Resources.

Casen Case died in October 2019 after being left in a vehicle for seven to eight hours. Limestone County authorities said he was left in a car seat in the vehicle between 9 and 10 p.m., when Elizabeth Case came home from an evening of searching through trash bins in Madison and Limestone counties. He was found around 1:30 p.m. the next day when his grandmother came to visit.

The lawsuit alleges DHR failed to take appropriate action and left Casen with his mother, despite her being in and out of jail while she was pregnant. At the time of her arrest for Casen’s death, Elizabeth Case was out of jail on bond for a robbery charge.

Multiple reports had been made to DHR that Elizabeth Case was abusing and neglecting Casen, according to James, and DHR knew about Case’s drug use and criminal history, which includes DUI, theft, domestic violence and drug possession.

“These workers are paid with our tax dollars to protect children like Casen and yet they did nothing,” James said in a statement. “His death is heartbreaking and should never have happened. Instead of fighting in court, we ask DHR to join us and those who loved Casen to search for the truth and to find out how this happened, and to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening to another child.”

Court records indicate Elizabeth Case’s capital murder trial is set to begin in May.