Jeffrey Wolfenbarger, father of 2-year-old Lily Furneaux-Wolfenbarger, was sued in Michigan’s Macomb County Circuit Court last week by Lily’s mother. The suit alleges that Wolfenbarger and one Renee King were directly responsible for Lily’s death. King, who is Wolfenbarger’s wife, faces life in prison after brutally beating and sexually assaulting Lily in November of 2010. The suit claims that Wolfenbarger was complicit and culpable for Lily’s death. The suit also names a John Doe and Mary Roe as unidentified and yet-to-be-determined defendants.

Lauren Fernaux, Lily’s mother, said that the lawsuit is intended to send a message. “This was a case of continual abuse,” said her attorney. “This child didn’t live in a vacuum. People saw her. People knew.” To this end, the suit is officially seeking damages in excess of $25,000. The mother’s attorney also went on to say that the money is only one part of putting responsibility where it is due in the case.