The recommendation came despite reports the girl was returning from visits with her father with bruises and black eyes, according to a report from the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth.
The report indicates there were disagreements between the case workers in Lincoln and Pottawatomie counties over Serenity's case. Wheeler reportedly opposed the girl living with her father, Sean Devon Brooks.
Brooks, 31, of Oklahoma City, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with Serenity's death. Her mother, Samantha Anne Deal, 21, is serving time in prison for sexually assaulting a young boy.
Serenity's maternal grandparents, Chuck and Annette Deal, of Chandler, said they tried to adopt her, but she was removed from their home in November 2010 by child welfare workers and put in foster care.
Annette Deal said DHS employees accused them of disobeying their orders by allowing Samantha Deal to have unsupervised visits with Serenity and her younger sibling.
The Deals have denied any wrongdoing.