What Could We Have Done?: The Biannela Marie Susana Story

Biannela Marie Susana is a 25-year-old widowed Latina mother of four, whose youngest son is dead after suffering severe head trauma, allegedly by her oldest son (and arguably exacerbated by lack of medical attention). Her oldest son, Cristian Fernandez, is 12 years old—the youngest person in Jacksonville to be charged as an adult for first-degree murder and facing a life sentence. The media has dubbed Biannela Marie Susana “the worst mother in the world.” However, Biannela’s story painfully shows what can happen when girls’ neglect and victimization are left untreated. The pain, abuse, and trauma of Biannela’s childhood created a risk trajectory that has irrevocably scarred both her and her family’s lives. Unfortunately, her tragic story is all too familiar.