GALES FERRY--Wendy Hartling says she is on a mission to understand why the man accused of murdering her daughter -- a man who federal officials tried and failed to deport multiple times -- was still allowed to live in the United States.
Hartling's daughter, 25-year-old Casey Chadwick, was stabbed to death on June 15, 2015 inside her Norwich apartment.
"My daughter was brutally murdered and shoved in a closet," Hartling said.
Police arrested and charged 40-year-old Jean Jacques, an illegal immigrant from Haiti, with Chadwick's murder. Jacques had previously served 16 years in prison for attempted murder.
After being released from prison in January, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement allowed Jacques to live with his cousin in Norwich, despite his criminal record.
"Why wasn't it looked into sooner?" questioned Hartling. "Why didn't they do anything? Why has almost six months go[ne] by and I'm still having no answers?"
Hartling said the government's failure to deport Jacques deserves an explanation. "If the country, the federal government, ICE, did what they were supposed to do, my daughter would still be with us."
On Monday, Hartling said she tried to speak with Sen. Richard Blumenthal during a press conference about genetically modified salmon. Although an advocate from American Liberty Center did speak up during the press conference on Hartling's behalf, Hartling said she did not have the opportunity to speak with the senator herself.
"Clearly there was ineptitude or incompetence or worse," said Blumenthal. "And stonewalling Congress just aggravates the problem."
Hartling said even with answers, nothing can correct past mistakes and bring back Casey. "I'm gonna have to live the rest of my life knowing that my daughter was murdered, brutally murdered," said Hartling. "It'll never go away."
Hartling said she is now working to introduce "Casey's Law" to help change deportation policies in Connecticut.