A father's $25 million claim against the state in the maltreatment death of his 3-year-old daughter in 2011 lays out the progression of injuries reported to the Department of Children and Families in the weeks before Athena Angeles was allegedly beaten to death by the mother's live-in boyfriend.

Athena's death and the arrests of her mother and the boyfriend reverberated across Connecticut at the time, but the negligence claim now awaiting action by the state's claims commissioner illuminates the evidence of possible abuse that was presented to DCF caseworkers in the more than a month that the little girl was on the child-protection authority's radar.

As Hugo Angeles of North Carolina seeks permission through the claims commissioner to sue DCF for negligence, Attorney General George Jepsen's office is working to block depositions and testimony by the DCF's lead investigator in the case, Tammy Bailey, arguing that her statements are confidential. The attorney general has said Bailey would be permitted to testify if releases from Athena's mother and the mother's boyfriend are obtained. Hugo Angeles' lawyers are challenging that position.

Among the documents filed with the claims commissioner is Bailey's log of four separate occasions in which she was told by Head Start workers that Athena showed up for school with new and serious injuries, including black eyes, a swollen face, and bruising on her ears and nose.

"On 11/14/11, Head Start worker Nusie Halpine contacted this writer to inform that Athena had come to school with additional bruises, one was the size of a quarter on her left jaw line, her upper right lip had a scab, and a small bruise on her left nostril," read one entry in Bailey's log.

The next entry reads, "On 11/15/11, Head Start Work Nusie Halpine contacted this writer stating that Athena had presented with more bruising. She stated that Athena had bruises on her ears and discoloration on the bridge of her nose."

DCF's internal investigation of Athena's death states, "Bruising on the torso ear or neck in a child younger than or equal to 4 years old, like Athena, is another characteristic predictive of abuse."

Bailey's log also notes a fifth occasion in which Bailey personally observed bruises on Athena's younger sister, and reported that Athena was crying and had vomited that day.

Hugo Angeles' lawyers have been unable to take a sworn deposition from Bailey. Their claim against the state is that DCF failed to protect Athena by leaving her in the household.

"The victim's father wants the public to have the whole story,'' New London lawyer Robert Reardon said. "DCF does not want the public to have the whole story. They don't want to have to explain why they didn't take this child, and her sister, out of the household much sooner."

In a statement, Jepsen's office said DCF records are confidential, as is anything Bailey might say about how DCF handled the case.

"State law strictly prohibits the disclosure of agency records – including an oral summary of the records, as sought through deposition in this case," Jepsen spokeswoman Jaclyn Falkowski said. She added that Reardon could gain access to further statements from Bailey if Athena's mother and the mother's boyfriend consent, and an order from the juvenile court is obtained.

Reardon said that the mother and boyfriend, both imprisoned for manslaughter in Athena's death, would likely assert their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if asked to waive confidentiality. Instead, Reardon is seeking an order from a Superior Court judge to compel Bailey to testify without the waiver.

DCF declined to make Bailey available to comment for this story. DCF Commissioner Joette Katz said through a spokesman that she and her staff have been advised by Jepsen's office not to comment on a pending claim.

DCF had contact with Athena from Oct. 18, 2011, to the time of her death on Nov. 23, 2011.

On Oct.18, a doctor at a Willimantic health clinic noted injuries to Athena's face and made the initial call to DCF's hotline that brought the department into the case.

Earlier that same day, the family advocate at Athena's preschool program in Windham visited Athena and her mother, Rosa Diaz-Mendez, at home and noted the child's eyes "were both black, and her face was so swollen that Athena could barely open her eyes,'' according to the arrest affidavit by state police detectives.

After Athena's death, Katz ordered an internal investigation of her department's handling of the case, and pressed hospitals and other providers for earlier detection of child maltreatment.

Reardon and partner Joseph Barnes have made that internal review a key part of the claim. The 14-page report is critical of the DCF team on several fronts. It cites the failure of DCF caseworkers to interview the live-in boyfriend during the time DCF was in contact with the family.

"(T)he department's policy about interviewing all family members was not carried out in this case," the internal report reads.