Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 5:30 am | Updated: 4:31 pm, Wed May 25, 2011.

Christy Ann Fornoff's murder not easily forgotten By Dan Zeiger, Tribune East Valley Tribune | comments

A man is scheduled to be executed soon for the kidnapping, rape and murder of a girl in a Tempe apartment complex more than a quarter-century ago. (See related story.)

For many of us who lived in the Valley at the time of the senseless incident, the victim’s name, Christy Ann Fornoff, is remembered almost instantaneously, recalling a time when an entire community was sickened, its faith and innocence shattered. For thousands of parents, Fornoff — killed on May 9, 1984, five days after her 13th birthday — could have been their son or daughter.

For many more children, including me, she could have been them.

At the time, Fornoff was a student at Connolly Middle School; I attended nearby Fees Intermediate School. Both fed into Marcos de Niza High School, where I attended with some of Fornoff’s former Connolly classmates. Fornoff was collecting payments for her newspaper route when she was abducted; I often helped out or filled in for a friend on his route.

Maybe those similarities are the biggest reason I have never forgotten Fornoff’s name. Or it could be the picture of her that was on the front page of every paper and led every television newscast for days.

Life in the Valley was much different then; the Phoenix metro area was less than half of its current population of 4.1 million. There were big-city crime realities, for sure, but nothing that held the attention of the entire area — particularly during the two days she was missing. Ask anyone who remembers: Fornoff’s disappearance and death was a big, big story.

Donald Beaty, the maintenance supervisor at the apartment complex where Fornoff disappeared, said he found her body behind a trash Dumpster. Ten days later, he was arrested for the murder and is slated to be executed on May 25.

People were outraged and disgusted — but most of all, scared.

“There was a sense of fear; it was pervading everything,” Peter DeCindis, a teacher at Connolly at the time of the murder, told the Tribune in 2004. “Every little kid was looking over their shoulder coming home. Parents coming to pick up their kids — no one was going to let their kid walk home.”

I lived the first nine years of my life in Indiana. On weekend and summer days, I, my sister, cousins and friends were often our own child care, heading off to play wherever in the mornings and not expected back home until dinner time. Our safety was not given a second thought.

Today, I will not let my boys go to the park behind our Gilbert home without them being in my line of sight.

After Fornoff’s death, more adults began handling newspaper routes, with each day’s edition more likely to be tossed into a driveway from a moving car than an over-the-shoulder bag. And technology has enabled billing to be conducted electronically, not door-to-door.

No, what happened to Fornoff did not result in all this. Her death was simply a symptom of an evolving society.

Through it all, life has gone on.

No Connolly teachers were available for recollection; a Tempe Elementary School District spokeswoman said that all of the faculty at the school when Fornoff died have retired or moved on. Harry Mitchell, then the mayor of Tempe who wrote a letter of condolence to the Fornoff family, declined an interview request through a spokesman. Even Fornoff’s parents, Carol and Roger, no longer live in Tempe.

But for myself and many others, Christy Ann Fornoff will live on in our memories, a name and face associated with tragedy and times changing.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6301 or dzeiger@evtrib.com

FLORENCE, Ariz. — An Arizona inmate convicted of raping and killing a 13-year-old girl in 1984 has been executed with a drug that has never been used before in the state.

Arizona death row inmate Donald Beaty is seen in an undated photo provided by the Arizona Dept. of Corrections. The Arizona Supreme Court scheduled a hearing Wednesday morning, May 25, 2011 after temporarily halting the planned execution of inmate Beaty, who is scheduled to die Wednesday by lethal injection for the 1984 rape and murder of a 13-year-old Tempe girl. The Arizona court's temporary stay of execution was issued late Tuesday night after Arizona officials said they had planned to replace one of three drugs to be used in the execution because federal officials contended the state failed to fill out a form to import the drug being swapped out. That prompted Beaty's lawyers to file motions seeking the stay of execution from the state's highest court and the U.S. District Court in Phoenix, arguing he hadn't had adequate opportunity to review the late change in drug protocol. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic via Arizona Dept. of Corrections)

Arrizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch, center, asks a question Wednesday, May 25, 2011 during a hearing in Phoenix on whether to allow the scheduled execution of inmate Donald Beaty to take place on Wednesday or keep a stay in place to give his lawyers time to study the state's last-minute plan to substitute one of three execution drugs. Beaty, was scheduled to die Wednesday by lethal injection for the 1984 rape and murder of a 13-year-old Tempe girl. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Mark Henle)

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Fifty-six-year-old Donald Edward Beaty died by lethal injection at 7:38 p.m. Wednesday at the state prison in Florence after failing to win a flurry of appeals.

The state used a new execution drug as part of a three-drug method, replacing the controversial drug sodium thiopental with pentobarbital.

Beaty was on death row for well over two decades after being convicted of raping and murdering Christy Ann Fornoff.

She was making collections on her newspaper route with her mother at a Tempe apartment complex where Beaty was a custodian when he took her into his apartment, and raped and suffocated her.


Davenport reported from Phoenix. Associated Press writers Carmen Castro in Florence and Jesse Holland in Washington contributed to this report.


May 25, 2011 11:31 PM EDT

Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



Richard James  (17) and his daughter Adelyn Rose ( 6 Mo)


Alexia Mae and Aurora Mae   (08)

16270_172516839797_761669797_2687232_6804163_nJessalynn Marie  (10)

16270_172518714797_761669797_2687241_7462306_n Stephen JD   (11)

196239_203090289708702_100000231968940_742013_129984_nMakayla (17)



Copy (2) of VTS_01_1-31 Alexandria Effie  Mae


POSTED: 7:37 am EDT May 17, 2011
UPDATED: 8:00 am EDT May 18, 2011
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Investigators later released this computer generated photo of the boy. The photo was created by the State Police Computer Crimes Unit.
Police are still trying to determine the identity of a boy whose body was found over the weekend in South Berwick.

The body of the boy, believed to be 4 to 6 years old, was found Saturday on Dennett Road, but no one has come forward to claim him.

In an afternoon news conference, Maine State Police said they have received more than 200 tips but still don't know who the boy is.

"This is just really bizarre that we're into day four now, and he's not reported missing," said Lt. Brian McDonough.

McDonough said investigators are exploring the possibility that a person associated with a truck seen in the area Saturday morning could be connected with the military.

He said the possibility is based on a witness statement that there may have been a naval insignia on and around the license plate.
Tuesday Press Conference Part 1
Tuesday Press Conference Part 2

He said that a military person might also not have as many ties in the neighborhood, explaining why neighbors might not know that a child was present in the home. Police are checking with local military officials to see if they have any information, McDonough said.

McDonough said police are also planning to submit the boy's DNA to databases to see if they can come up with a match.

Investigators said they have finished processing the scene where the body was found, and there is no longer need for them to be there, so neighbors have fashioned a memorial to the boy at the site.

Resident Debby Spaulding placed a red rose at the memorial.

"It stands for love," she said.

"I came down to say a prayer for the little guy," said resident Dawn Belanger.

Police released a computer-generated image of the boy, which has led to tips coming in from across the country. He was 3 feet 8 inches tall, weighed 45 pounds and had dirty blond hair and blue eyes.

Police say the boy was wearing these "Lightning McQueen" shoes, size 12 1/2. They appear to be recently purchased.

At a local diner, the grim discovery has been the main subject of conversation. Residents said they are puzzled why no one has stepped forward with an identity.

"Nobody can understand how nobody can recognize a child," said Eileen Mayo, owner of Mayo's Family Restaurant. "There's got to be a grandparent or a parent or somebody that knows what's become of him."

Waitress Brandi Turnbull said customers are still having trouble dealing with the fact that this has happened in their community.

"It's a tragedy, an absolute tragedy," she said. "They are just in disbelief about everything that happened. It's just too close to home."

The town has planned a vigil for Tuesday evening. A Facebook page has also been created to try to get more tips for police. More than 68,000 people had joined the page by Tuesday morning.

Hundreds Attend Memorial In Boy's Honor

Hundreds of people turned out in South Berwick on Tuesday night to honor the child.

Images From Memorial

"We don't know who he belongs to, and you don't want that for any human being," vigil organizer Amy Aiguier said. "You want to see other members of your community. You want to talk, you want to discuss it, and you want to show your support, because you know for everybody here, it hit home."

Vigil goers said they are praying someone can come forward with information leading to the child's identity.

People said that even though they don't know the child, they would want him to know he's not alone.

"Just the entire situation is completely -- is so disturbing, it terrifies me, and it makes me so sick that someone would do this to a little boy, a little child," resident Brianna Hale said.

Parents held on tightly to their children during the vigil.

"I have two little kids that look nothing like him, but every time I look at them I see -- look at that picture -- I see my kids," mourner Patrice McLean said.

For people in the community and in other nearby towns, the mystery makes for unsettling times.

"I know there's a lot of folks here in South Berwick that are nervous just cause maybe this guy's a local guy, maybe this person did this and they're unsure of themselves -- we don't know," resident David Flores said.

Some residents said the case has an eerie echo to another from 1997, when a 10-year-old Massachusetts boy was dumped in a local river.

While police continue to field tips about the boy's possible identity, community members want whoever is responsible to step forward.

Sanford resident Marge Trowbridge said, "Do the right thing -- turn yourself in. It breaks my heart because it's like, 'What animal would do such a thing to a little boy?'"

Previous Stories:

    May 17, 2011: Police Receive Multiple Tips After Child's Body Found
    May 16, 2011: Child's Body Found Along Remote Road

Copyright© 2004 – Pima County Attorney Pima County Attorney's Office
For more information contact:
Marcia Fraioli-Nugent
Communications Coordinator
(520) 740-5613
(520) 419-8685 (cell)
Local Agencies Announce Implementation of
Pima County Drug Endangered Children Multidisciplinary Protocol
(Tucson, Arizona) September 15, 2005
The Pima County Attorney’s Office in partnership with the Arizona Attorney
General’s Office, Pima County Sheriff’s Office, Southern Arizona Children’s
Advocacy Center, Child Protective Services, City Attorney’s Office, Tucson
Police Department, University of Arizona Police Department, University of
Arizona Health Sciences Center,
South Tucson Police Department, Marana Police Department, Oro Valley
Police Department, Tohono O’Odham Nation Police Department, Sahuarita
Police Department and the Pasqua Yaqui Nation Police Department announced
today the implementation of the Pima County Drug Endangered Children
Multidisciplinary Protocol.
The protocols, developed by members of the Pima County Drug Endangered
Task Force, will ensure that children who may be at risk for exposure to
clandestine drug laboratories receive protection, advocacy and support through
a multidisciplinary approach. The protocols also state that investigations
provide the best opportunity for prosecution of individuals involved in
manufacturing, selling and abusing methamphetamine and other drugs,
endangering children in the process.
Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall stated, “Children are often the forgotten
victims in drug activity. They are neglected, abused and exposed to a toxic
environment in which they cannot possibly thrive. This partnership of local law
enforcement, medical and social services agencies is crucial to the success of
eradicating methamphetamine from our community. By putting into place a
system that protects the youngest victims of this toxic drug we are taking a very
important first step.”
LaWall added, “The protocols will ensure that the children involved in these
highly volatile households receive the best possible care, that law enforcement
is able to conduct thorough investigations without the additional stress of
contamination and that prosecution may proceed in order to hold these
offenders accountable.”
Copyright© 2004 – Pima County Attorney Pima County Attorney's Office
Attorney General Terry Goddard stated, “Law enforcement in Arizona and
around the country say that meth has replaced marijuana and cocaine as the
nation’s number one drug problem,” Goddard continued, “I am proud we have
initiated the Drug Endangered Children Protocols for Southern Arizona. My
office will provide the training to effectively implement the new partnership.”
Sheriff Clarence Dupnik stated, “As a law enforcement agency, deputies will
play a large part of protecting our future generation from the ill effects of
methamphetamine use. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department is tasked with
investigating the crime as well as investigating possible child abuse or child
neglect. Methamphetamine is the fastest growing drug of the times and as a
law enforcement agency, we dedicate our efforts to ensure the children of Pima
County are protected and the perpetrators are prosecuted to the full extent of the
Joining LaWall at today’s announcement were, Attorney General Terry
Goddard, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, Wilene Lampert Ph.D, Executive Director
of the Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy Center and members of the Pima
County Drug Endangered Task Force.
* * * * *


    Guess our national leaders didn't expect this, hmm? On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the  Columbine  High School shootings in  Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.

    They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness.. The following is a portion of the transcript:

    "Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

    "The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.

    "In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent.
    I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy -- it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.

     You've outlawed simple prayer.
    Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
    And precious children die.
     You seek for answers everywhere,
     And ask the question "Why?"
    You regulate restrictive laws,
     Through legislative creed.
    And yet you fail to understand,
    That God is what we need!

    "Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational   systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs -- politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

     "As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person inAmerica, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at  ColumbineHigh School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA -- I give to you a sincere challenge.. Dare to examine your
     own heart before casting the first stone!

    My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"

     Do what the media did not - - let the nation hear this man's speech.. Please send this out to everyone you can.
    God Bless


Terry Greene Sterling – Thu Apr 7, 2:02 am ET

NEW YORK – Death Sentence for Arizona Child KillerSuspected serial killer and alleged white supremacist Jason Bush is condemned for the murder of a Mexican-American girl and her father, as the jury rejects attempts to portray him as a head case. Terry Greene Sterling reports.

Jason Bush, a tall, skinny suspected serial killer with alleged white supremacist ties, was sentenced to death in Tucson for murdering a Mexican-American child and her father in an Arizona borderlands home invasion. Bush, 36, a drifter and ex-con with a history of mental troubles, has been associated with the Aryan Brotherhood, and authorities suspect him in two additional race-related killings, in 1997 in Washington state. In one of the Washington cases, a Mexican man was stabbed to death. In another, a white man thought to be a “race traitor” was executed on a hunting trip.

Bush now joins 43-year-old border vigilante Shawna Forde on Arizona’s death row for the 2009 killing of Brisenia Flores and her father, Raul. Forde is a former beautician and Boeing worker from Everett, Washington. She founded Minutemen American Defense several years ago, supposedly to keep America safe from “illegals.” This year, a Pima County Superior Court jury found her guilty of masterminding the deadly 2009 invasion of the Flores home in Arivaca, Arizona, in order to steal drugs and money to fund her vigilante activities. Forde called Jason Bush “Gunny” and she apparently believed his wild tales about being a star sniper in the Army.

The slayings of Brisenia and her father, both American citizens of Latino descent, were followed a year later by the mysterious shooting of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz, an Anglo. The rancher’s murder, still unsolved but widely blamed on a Mexican narco trafficker in the country illegally, sparked panic in Arizona and fueled the passage of Arizona’s notorious immigration law, SB 1070, which makes it a state crime for unauthorized immigrants to set foot on Arizona soil. (Parts of the law have been stayed in federal court.) Arizona’s Latinos have long said the Flores murders should have provoked more outrage but did not because the victims were Latinos.

Like the killers of the Clutter family, memorialized in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, the Arizona killers didn’t find the bounty they expected. The home invaders walked away from the Flores home empty-handed, except for a few cheap jewels, but they slaughtered the family anyway.

After the jury walked out, the suspected serial killer looked at his lawyer and appeared to say: “This sucks.”

While Forde barked orders, Bush, 36, was the tall triggerman in blackface. Wearing a bulletproof vest beneath his camouflage, Bush killed Raul Flores, gravely injured his wife, Gina Gonzalez, then put a gun up the nose of their 9-year-old daughter, Brisenia, who pleaded for her life. He shot her twice. Her terrified mother survived by playing dead, and called 911 after Bush and Forde left the trailer. When Bush re-entered the mobile home to kill Gonzalez, she shot him with her husband’s gun. Bush sustained a wound in the leg, and later boasted to friends that the bullet he pulled out of his vest was a “souvenir” from his secret mission.

“Gunny” Bush was nabbed a few days after the slaughter at his girlfriend’s house in northern Arizona. The girlfriend later testified that Bush seemed pleased with the outcome of what he described as a covert military foray and was ready to go out on another. In jail, though, Bush lost his military bravado. He confessed to the Flores killings. But later, in a desperate attempt to save himself from the death penalty, he pleaded not guilty to the killings.

Bush’s defense was weak. He had already confessed. Gina Gonzalez survived to be the prosecution’s star eyewitness. Authorities found Bush’s DNA at the crime scene and on the murder weapon. The crime was “indefensible,” said Bush’s attorney Richard Parrish, who opted not to dispute Gunny’s guilt, but to focus instead on trying to save him from death on a gurney.

In Arizona, the same jury that finds a killer guilty must then also decide whether to put the killer to death during the death-penalty phase of the trial. During this phase, prosecutor Rick Unklesbay painted Bush as a cold-blooded “manipulator” who “does what he wants for his own gains” and faked mental illness to get drugs and perks.

Parrish launched what amounted to an insanity defense, portraying his furrow-browed client as a full-blown paranoid schizophrenic with “military delusions.” Bush created fraudulent military certificates, photos, and a fake letter from President George Bush complimenting him on his supposedly covert missions in South America, psychologist Marc Walter testified, to maintain his paranoid delusion that he was a military hero.

Ellen Bower, Bush’s mother, testified that his mental problems surfaced in early childhood—he never grew out of his “terrible twos.” She temporarily severed parental rights when he was 11 so he could get psychological treatment she couldn’t afford. After authorities told Bower her son had been sexually abused by older boys, Bower resumed custody.

Bush cycled in and out of trouble. For instance, after he was “kicked off” a school bus for “misbehaving and pestering” other children, “he got on his motorbike, put a .410 shotgun on his back, and went after the school bus,” Bower said. Her son was always good with younger kids, Bower told the jury, and if he killed Brisenia Flores, then a “monster” she did not know lurked within him.

Bush smiled only once during the trial—at his mother. A psychologist testified Bush has been taking a heavy dose of numbing antipsychotic medication for months—the drugs were prescribed after Bush told jail officials the floor was moving beneath his feet and that barking dogs bothered him.

After the verdict, prosecutors, jurors and defense attorneys refused comment. Gina Gonzalez could not comment because she must testify at the upcoming June trial of the last alleged accomplice in the killings, Arivaca resident Albert Gaxiola. She appeared calm after the verdict, and quickly left the courtroom.

Dressed in a striped shirt, dark pants and second-hand black shoes with pink socks, Bush had pulled his shoulder-length black hair into a ponytail and rocked slightly in his seat as he waited for the verdict. When the jury came in, he rose and blinked when he heard the sentence. After the jury walked out, the suspected serial killer looked down at his lawyer and appeared to say: “This sucks.”

His appeal will be automatically filed.

Terry Greene Sterling is an award-winning Arizona-based journalist and author of ILLEGAL, Life and Death in Arizona's Immigration War Zone. Visit her on Facebook, or her website.


By Kim Smith Arizona Daily Star | Posted: Thursday, March 4, 2010 2:17 pm


A Tucson man accused of starving his newborn baby to death was acquitted of first-degree murder Thursday and was convicted of reckless child abuse, a probation-eligible offense.

Scott Sullivan's daughter, Kimberlie, was born on July 14, 2008, weighing 7 pounds, 12 ounces and died Aug. 30, 2008, weighing 5 pounds, 7 ounces.

Her mother, Terri Sullivan, 27, pleaded guilty to child abuse and first-degree murder and is now serving a life sentence with parole possible after 25 years.

The jury found that Sullivan's wife was responsible for the child's death.

Defense attorney Dan Cooper said he told jurors the evidence showed Scott Sullivan, 28, was oblivious to Kimberlie's declining health because he was rarely home and when he was, he was exhausted.

Scott Sullivan was working two jobs much of the summer of 2008 and often had to walk 20 miles roundtrip to work because his vehicle was broken down, Cooper said.

Scott Sullivan counted on his wife to care for the baby and their three other children while he was working, Cooper said.

His client's family testified Scott Sullivan was a shy, reserved man who was married to a bossy, domineering and forceful woman, Cooper said.

Terri Sullivan told a probation officer she was having an affair with an 18-year-old man that summer and smoking marijuana daily, court documents indicate.

On Aug. 30, 2008, Terri Sullivan called 911 saying she found Kimberlie in her swing and she wasn't breathing. When paramedics arrived, they found Scott Sullivan performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. They took over CPR but declared the emaciated baby dead a short time later.

The couple's three other children now live with Scott Sullivan's parents.

Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or kimsmith@azstarnet.com

released March 12, 2001
conducted by Connecticut's Child Fatality Review Panel
Key elements of the report:
Executive Summary
The full, 17-page investigative report, is available for viewing or download in Microsoft Word format by using the following link: Alex B.

Executive Summary
Alex B. was a three-year-old victim of homicide while in the custody of the Department of Children and Families (DCF). On September 8, 2000, DCF placed Alex in the care of a Florida couple. Less than three weeks later, Alex died and the prospective adoptive father was arrested and charged with first-degree felony murder.
Alex was born on January 25, 1997 and was placed with a foster family in Connecticut shortly after birth. When Alex was seven months old, DCF moved him to Maine to live with a maternal uncle and his partner, who had expressed interest in adopting Alex. Shortly after moving to Maine, Alex was diagnosed with numerous special health and developmental needs.
DCF ultimately decided to remove Alex from his relative’s care after three years and, without appropriate assessment or preparation, placed him with prospective adoptive foster parents in Florida. Within a week of leaving Maine, Alex was dead.
The fatality review investigation revealed that DCF made errors throughout the course of Alex’s life. The most significant mistakes, which led to Alex’s death, include the following:

    DCF failed to obtain even basic information about Alex’s prospective adoptive parents before sending him to live with them.
    DCF violated the requirements of the Interstate Compact of the Placement of Children that would have protected Alex from harm in order to expedite his placement in Florida.
    DCF provided inadequate supervision of the caseworker’s decisions.
    DCF failed to ensure that Alex had health insurance or providers in Florida to meet his special needs.

The mishandling of Alex’s case predates the Florida placement and began with his placement in foster care. The investigation found the following:

    DCF failed to adequately monitor his care by the foster family in Maine.
    DCF failed to provide support or guidance to the foster family despite Alex’s complex needs.
    DCF must address these problems in an effort to prevent other tragedies from occurring. Recommendations include the following:
    DCF needs to ensure that all employees understand and obey the Interstate Compact requirements.
    DCF must clearly communicate to its employees that existing rules for monitoring and visiting the child apply equally to children placed with out-of-state families.
    DCF must simplify the voluminous and often irrelevant policies that dictate employees’ daily practice. Employees also need ongoing training so that they understand the policies they are expected to implement.
    DCF should develop a management system that allows supervisors to obtain accurate information upon which to evaluate case practice decisions and employee performance. With access to objective, independent information, supervisors will be able to ensure that employees engage in sound case practice and that agency policies are followed.

A single failure connects the many mistakes that led to Alex’s death: DCF failed to recognize and act in the best interests of Alex. DCF treated him as a case to be processed and not a child to be nurtured.
DCF was Alex’s legal parent. The agency was responsible for providing a safe, nurturing home for him. Yet, DCF failed to act like a responsible parent.
No responsible parent would send a three-year-old child 1,500 miles away to live with strangers. No responsible parent would fail to monitor the child’s care by relatives in another state. No responsible parent would ignore the obvious needs of the relative caregivers for guidance and support.
In this case, the failure to focus on Alex’s best interests, combined with poor judgment, resulted in a tragedy. The most urgent issue that must be addressed is the inadequate supervision of caseworker decisions. Supervisors rely almost exclusively on the caseworker for information about the case and the child. This lack of objective information prevents supervisors from effectively monitoring performance and case practice. In addition, DCF policies are voluminous, unclear, and poorly communicated, making practice inconsistent and noncompliance routine.
Jeanne Milstein, Child Advocate
Chairperson, Child Fatality Review Panel

    DCF inadequately documented events in Alex’s life.
    DCF placed Alex with relatives in Maine when he was seven months old. Soon thereafter he was identified as having emerging special health and developmental needs.
    DCF did not maintain regular contact with Alex’s relative foster family nor did they ensure that Maine authorities were providing oversight of Alex’s placement through Interstate Compact.
    DCF was concerned about the quality of care that Alex was receiving in his relative foster placement as early as July 1998. Yet he remained in this placement for 2 more years with minimal state oversight.
    In the transfer to Florida, DCF failed to follow the policies and procedures established by the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.
    DCF failed to adequately assess the suitability of Alex’s prospective Florida adoptive family to parent him and to meet his special needs. Key indicators of potential parenting problems were ignored.
    DCF failed to ensure that Alex had the necessary health insurance to meet his special health and developmental service needs in Florida.
    DCF failed to adequately supervise Alex’s caseworkers in their case management of a child determined to be "medically fragile" and placed out of state, for whom they were the statutory parent.
    Supervisors lack an independent source of information upon which to monitor case practice and evaluate job performance.
    DCF workers are overwhelmed with the volume of policy and procedural information disseminated through the internal computer system.


    DCF must obey the requirements of the Interstate Compact on the placement of children.
    DCF must ensure adequate supervision of employees.
    DCF must ensure tht their employees understand and effectively implement DCF policy and procedures.
    DCF must improve external and internal communication.
    DCF must develop policies and procedures for placement and oversight of children in out-of-state foster care.
    DCF must ensure that Connecticut children placed in out-of-state foster care have adequate medical insurance coverage.

Printable Version 

in Australia and internationally.

Social and political interest in the protection of children from abuse or neglect at the hands of caregivers is a relatively recent phenomenon. Since the early colonial days in Australia, there have been some forms of protection for children. Abused and abandoned children were either boarded out to approved families or placed in orphanages run by voluntary organisations (Tomison, 2001). However, provisions of care throughout most of the 19th century were established solely for the needs of abandoned or "illegitimate" children whose parents were seen as socially inadequate. The concept of providing protection of children from their parents or caregivers did not exist (Liddell, 1993). Governments took the position that children were the property of parents who had the right to treat their child any way they saw fit. Western society showed little interest in, and had no specific policies for, protecting children from their parents or caregivers (Fogarty, 2008).

Although child maltreatment has been occurring since before there were laws to protect children from abuse and neglect, western society in the 19th century was characterised by particularly brutal attitudes towards children (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children [NSPCC], 2000), a fact immortalised by authors of the time such as Charles Dickens (1812–1870).
International developments in the late 19th century: The "first wave" of the child rescue movement
The first manifestations of child protection services with a legal mandate to intervene to protect children from abuse and neglect emerged in the late 19th century, initially in the form of charitable and philanthropic endeavours (Jeffreys & Stevenson, 1996). Often referred to as the first wave of the child rescue movement, developments in the United States and the United Kingdom helped to pave the way for change in Australia. In the United States, the much-publicised case of Mary Ellen McCormack in the 1870s is widely accepted as the catalyst for the creation of laws to protect children from maltreatment by caregivers. Mary Ellen McCormack was a 10-year old girl who experienced ongoing physical abuse by her adoptive mother in New York. As there were no laws to protect children from cruelty, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was approached to assist. It took the case to court on the basis that Mary Ellen was a "human animal" and therefore entitled to protection comparable to that given to animals. The case saw Mary Ellen placed in an orphanage and her caregiver imprisoned. This soon led to the establishment of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC). Founded in December 1874, the society was the first child protection agency in the world (NSPCC, 2000; NYSPCC, 2000). The establishment of the NYSPCC also led to child protection legislation and the establishment of juvenile courts in the United States (Fogarty, 2008)

In the United Kingdom there was considerable resistance towards protection of children from their parents as this was seen as "interfering" into the private sphere of the family. Specific child protection legislation was viewed as an invasion of the family (Fogarty, 2008). Nevertheless, child protection did emerge in the United Kingdom after Thomas Agnew, a banker from Liverpool, England, visited America in 1881 where he observed the work of the NYSPCC (NSPCC, 2000). Agnew returned to England in 1882 where, inspired by the NYSPCC, he went about establishing the first child protection service in the United Kingdom, the Liverpool Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, founded in 1883. This paved the way for the establishment of the London Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 1884. The society changed its name to the British National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) in 1889 and expanded its charter to include all children living in the United Kingdom. In the same year, the lobbying efforts of NSPCC were rewarded with the passing of the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act, commonly known as the "Children's Charter". The Act enabled society to intervene for the first time to protect children from cruelty or neglect perpetrated by their parents, where previously a parent's ownership of a child gave parents the right to treat their child in any way they saw fit, barring murder.
Developments in Australia in the late 19th century
Child protection in the late 19th century in Australia followed a similar path to the United States and the United Kingdom. An increased public awareness of child abuse issues led to the establishment of non-government and voluntary child protection societies, partly in imitation of those established in the United States and the United Kingdom. The New South Wales Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSWSPCC) was established in 1890, the Victorian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (VSPCC) in 1894, and the Western Australian Children's Protection Society in 1906 (CPSWA) (Liddell, 1993; Scott & Swain, 2002). Modelled on the British NSPCC, these groups were responsible for investigating and reporting child abuse and neglect, a mandate that continued well into the 20th century (Children's Protection Society, 2003; Jeffreys & Stevenson, 1996; Scott & Swain, 2002). The development of such agencies strengthened the role of the non-government sector in carrying out early forms of child protection work (Tomison, 2001). By the end of the 19th century most states in Australia had also established Children's Courts and developed legislation to protect children from the more "obvious" forms of child maltreatment, such as severe physical abuse (Tomison, 2001). "Boarding out" to approved families became a preferred option over institutional care for children abandoned or abused (Liddell, 1993). Although the Commonwealth of Australia was established in 1901, the provision of child protection services remained a state responsibility, which ensured that each state and territory had its own unique child protection response. The continuation of state responsibility for child protection has meant that legislation and practice has differed somewhat between each state and territory throughout the 20th century and today.
The "second wave" of the child rescue movement: Developments in the 1960s
The first half of the 20th century was not notable for big changes in child welfare in Australia. Institutionalised care re-emerged as a preferred method of out-of-home care over boarding out. However, by the 1950s, concerns on the standard of living in such institutions led to a shift toward smaller group care (Liddell, 1993). Although government agencies and voluntary organisations continued their work, particularly directed to neglected children, the general public and the government were not interested in child protection in the first half of the century (Fogarty, 2008).

The child protection landscape changed significantly in the early 1960s- referred to as the second wave of the child rescue movement. Modern professional interest in the early 1960s was prompted by research-the most famous of which was a study in the United States led by Dr Henry Kempe (Fogarty, 2008). Kempe, Silverman, Steele, Droegemueller, and Silver (1962) coined the term the "battered-child syndrome" in describing evidence of untreated physical injuries caused by physical abuse by caregivers. The authors argued that "battered-child syndrome" was a significant cause of childhood disability and death for children under the age of 3 years (Lonne, Parton, Thompson, & Harries, 2009). Unlike the original "first wave" developments of the 19th century, the issue was identified by medical professionals rather than by survivors and community groups, which professionalised the issue and brought it back to public attention (Lonne et al., 2009). The research evoked significant media attention, which helped to increase public awareness of child protection issues. Many researchers have argued that media coverage throughout the 60s was just as important as the research itself (Tomison, 2001). Dramatic changes to approaches in protecting children soon followed in America. Within a few years, all fifty American states had introduced major legislative changes implementing professionally staffed child protection services. The establishment of mandatory reporting laws requiring all health and welfare professionals to report suspected and actual cases of child abuse and neglect to public authorities were also introduced in all states of America by the late 1960s (Fogarty, 2008; Lonne et al., 2009)

In Australia, similar research was emerging. Work by Wurfel and Maxwell (1965) investigated abuse of 26 children from 18 families at the Adelaide Children's Hospital and Bialestock (1966) investigated 289 neglected babies admitted to a reception centre. This research and the research by Kempe and colleagues (1962) also led to mass media and public debate on child abuse issues, which put increasing pressure on state governments to take greater responsibility. Welfare departments were establishment in each state throughout the 1960s (with the exception of Victoria) and Australian states and territories soon moved to government-based child protection approaches. In Victoria, child protection investigations continued to be performed by the police and the Children's Protection Society (formerly the VSPCC) (Fogarty, 2008). The new research on the effects of child abuse in the 60s and the subsequent media attention that followed helped to increase public and political awareness of child protection matters and led to continued debates and various changes to government approaches in the decades to follow.
Developments in the 1970s and 80s in Australia
Over the next two decades, state governments continued to develop and refine systems for investigating and dealing with child abuse and neglect in Australia. The 70s and 80s were characterised by significant social change, particularly in relation to family structures. New families were emerging that varied from traditional family structures, including more families of single parents and families where parents had divorced or remarried. This broadened the scope of families in the child welfare system and added to the complexities of providing child protection services where risks of abuse and or neglect were identified (Liddell, 1993). Definitions of what constituted child abuse and neglect also greatly expanded throughout the period. By the late 1980s, definitions in each state included emotional abuse, neglect, sexual abuse and physical abuse. The focus of child abuse and neglect moved beyond just young children and included all young people up to the age of 18 (Lonne et al., 2009).

The 70s and 80s continued the process of de-institutionalisation of out-of-home care, as permanency planning became a popular principle (Liddell, 1993). Returning children either to their homes, to foster care or to smaller group care became the preferred option for most child protection departments.
After generating significant political debate, the influences from the United States led to mandatory reporting laws of child abuse and neglect in most states of Australia in the 1970s. Tasmania first introduced mandatory laws in 1974, followed by South Australia in 1975, New South Wales in 1977 and Queensland in 1980. Today all states in Australia have some form of mandatory reporting laws (Higgins, Bromfield, Richardson, Holzer, & Berlyn, 2009).
Changes to child protection in Victoria
The biggest changes in child protection practices in the 1980s occurred in Victoria. By the mid-1980s, the Victorian Children's Protection Society was unable to obtain sufficient funding to meet the increased demand for its services (Scott & Swain, 2002). A review was conducted on child protection in Victoria and the state took over the provision of statutory child protection services in 1985. Rather than fund a 24-hour service, the government elected to continue with a dual track model of child protection, in which the police responded to those cases to which the statutory child protection service was unable to respond due to a lack of resources or the need for after-hours intervention. The combined child protection service and police responsibility for child protection was known as the dual-track system (Liddell, 2001). The dual-track system was abolished in 1994 following an Inquiry by Fogarty and Sargeant (1989) as the statutory child protection service assumed full responsibility for investigations of child abuse and neglect. This also coincided with the introduction of mandatory reporting laws in Victoria (See Box 1).

Box 1: The role of the media in child protection reform
In Victoria-as in other jurisdictions-media attention surrounding the death of a child (e.g., the death of Victoria Climbè in the UK) galvanised public support and resulted in significant legislative change in the area of child protection in the late 1980s.

In 1989, a 2-year old boy, Daniel Valerio, died as a result of physical assault at the hands of his step father Paul Aiton. Both the police and child protection service had received allegations that Daniel was being physically abused. The departmental enquiry into Daniel's death reinforced the need for the abolition of the dual-track system (Scott & Swain, 2002). In 1993 Paul Aiton was tried and convicted for Daniel's death. A major Victorian tabloid newspaper, The Herald-Sun, used the trial and accompanying photographs of Daniel taken by a police surgeon days before his death to campaign for mandatory reporting in Victoria (Goddard & Liddel, 1995). The campaign created a groundswell of public support and forced the state government to amend the 1989 Children and Young Persons Act making it mandatory for prescribed professionals (e.g., teachers, police) to notify the state child protective services if they suspected that a child was being physically or sexually abused (Goddard & Liddel, 1995; Liddell & Goddard, 1995).
The 1990s and the child protection legalistic approach
Although developments in the late 1980s and 1990s continued to vary in each state, most states moved to "professionalise" the response to child abuse and neglect. This led to the widespread adoption of professional decision-making aids, guides and checklists that assessed the risks of child maltreatment (Holzer & Bromfield, 2008). The aids assisted child protection workers in determining if abuse and neglect had occurred, the risk of further harm, and whether the child should be removed from the family home. The focus on professionalising child protection services also saw most states move to a more legalistic approach to child abuse and neglect. Under a legalistic framework, child protection work became predominantly focused on developing a legal response to allegations of child abuse and neglect and determining whether abuse or neglect was serious enough to warrant protective intervention (Tomison, 2001). This approach meant that for child protection workers, investigative and administrative work took up a significant amount of time. Government funding for child protection and non-government family support services was also significantly reduced, which meant that support for families suffering from social problems was limited (Tomison, 2001). Child protection systems became the sole point of contact for families at risk of abuse and neglect, which increasingly made it difficult for departments to meet demand.
Child protection in the 21st century
By the late 1990s, child protection services in all Australian states and territories were finding it difficult to cope with high numbers of reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. The legal/forensic approach was being criticised for subjecting low risk families to unnecessary investigations, while at the same time letting some high risk families fall through the cracks (Lonne et al., 2009). This led governments and child protection services to seek alternative solutions in the 21st century. New models of child protection and family support were adopted in most states and territories in Australia (Bromfield & Holzer, 2008). Child protection approaches at the beginning of the 21st century recognised the vital role played by the broader child and family welfare system in supporting families and therefore preventing child abuse and neglect. New child protection models sought to achieve a balance between statutory child protection services and family support services. Under such models, statutory child protection services no longer drive the system but become one facet in an overall welfare system for children and their families (Bromfield & Holzer, 2008). This has led to child protection services and family support services working more collaboratively in order to assess family needs. In working more collaboratively with other family welfare services, child protection workers have had more options when responding to a report of suspected child abuse or neglect. This has enabled workers to tailor responses more to the perceived needs of the family rather than an across the board assessment of the risks of actual child abuse and neglect (Tomison, 2001). For example, for cases where risks of actual child abuse and neglect are low, a less intrusive assessment process involving non-government agencies can be arranged to provide general support to the family. These approaches have aimed to reduce the risk of families having negative or traumatic experiences from inappropriate or unnecessary investigations.
A public health model for child protection services in Australia
Today, child protection systems continue to vary across states and territories. In most states child protection services are part of a broader department of human services. Although a greater focus has been placed on prevention and providing family support services to families at risk of child abuse and neglect, statutory child protection services in each state and territory continue to struggle to meet demand (Holzer & Bromfield, 2008). There is a growing acceptance that applying a public health model to child protection may help to reduce the burden on child protection departments and deliver better outcomes for children and families (Council of Australian Governments, 2009). The public health model provides a framework that expands the service continuum, where preventative interventions are categorised as primary, secondary or tertiary. In the public health model approach, priority is placed on having universal services available to all families, such as health and education. Secondary prevention interventions are provided to families that are deemed to be at risk of child maltreatment, while tertiary child protection services are deemed to be a last resort for families where child abuse and neglect has occurred (Holzer, 2007). The public health model as applied to child abuse and neglect is an encouraging approach to service delivery because the central focus is on the prevention of child abuse and neglect, as opposed to focusing on services where abuse and neglect has already occurred (O'Donnell, Scott, & Stanley, 2008).
Box 2: Recognising different types of child maltreatment
By the late 1980s and 1990s, the category of child abuse expanded from being severe physical abuse and extreme neglect to a much broader idea of what constitutes child maltreatment. Below is a brief timeline of when different types of child maltreatment were recognised in child protection legislation.

1960s Severe physical abuse
Kempe and colleagues (1962) research on the "battered-child syndrome" pushed child physical abuse into the realm of professionals and resulted in the application of a medical model to the problem. Professionals focused on the psychopathology of perpetrators, which led to a substantial growth in government-run child protection services around the world.

1980s Child sexual abuse recognised on the world stage
There is no definitive reason for why sexual abuse emerged as a key issue for child protection in the 1980s, however the most prominent theory suggests that the impact of feminism lead to the public recognition of child sexual abuse (Scott & Swain, 2002). Significant media attention was given to any case of child sexual abuse and statutory child protection services found it difficult to cope with the influx of reports. Tensions arose between child protection services, police and child sexual assault services as roles and responsibilities became blurred (Scott & Swain, 2002).

1980–90s Neglect re-discovered
The original child rescue movement of the late 19th and early 20th century was primarily focused on "rescuing" children from neglect by "morally corrupt and lazy" parents (Bromfield & Holzer, 2008). Research in the 80s and 90s started to recognise that child neglect was a prominent form of maltreatment that could severely impact on a child's development. Over the last three decades, child neglect has had the most child protection substantiations.

1990s Emotional abuse started to be recognised
Research in the 1980s and 1990s started to identify that child physical abuse and neglect was often accompanied by psychological or emotional abuse. Child emotional abuse eventually became recognised as an abuse type in its own right with specific adverse effects for children. Child protection substantiations of child emotional abuse have been higher than child physical abuse or sexual abuse in Australia (Australian Institute of Health & Welfare, 2010), however, research on the risks and effects of emotional abuse have been less prominent.

2000s Exposure to family violence became a mandatory reporting trigger
The 1990s saw increasing support for the recognition of witnessing family violence as a separate and distinct maltreatment sub-type. Although witnessing family violence has not been recognised as a maltreatment type within child protection services, exposure to domestic violence has been introduced as a trigger for mandatory reporting in New South Wales and Tasmania. Exposure to domestic violence is typically recorded as "emotional abuse" (Bromfield & Holzer, 2008).
The history of child protection in Australia has seen a variety of responses to protecting children and supporting families in need. Child protection and the child welfare system as a whole will continue to evolve and adapt to ever-changing social environments. Twenty-first century developments in protecting children in Australia have recognised that statutory child protection services in isolation are unable to provide support to all families in need and reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect. Child protection approaches now recognise that protecting children is everyone's business and that parents, communities, governments, non-government organisations and businesses all have a role to play.
Alister Lamont is a Research Officer for the National Child Protection Clearinghouse at the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

At the time of writing, Dr Leah Bromfield was the Manager of the National Child Protection Clearinghouse and the Communities and Families Clearinghouse Australia at the Australian Institute of Family Studies.
Australian Institute of Health & Welfare. (2010). Child protection Australia 2008–09. Canberra: AIHW.

Bialestock, D. (1966). Neglected babies. A study of 289 babies admitted consecutively to a reception centre. Medical Journal of Australia, 2, 1129–1133.

Bromfield, L. M., & Holzer, P. (2008). A national approach for child protection: Project report (PDF 1.0 MB).

Children's Protection Society. (2003, November). Children's Protection Society: Working together for children.

Council of Australian Governments. (2009). Protecting children is everyone's business: National framework for protecting Australia's children 2009–2020 (PDF 1.2 MB).

Fogarty, J. (2008). Some aspects of the early history of child protection in Australia. Family Matters, 78, 52–59.

Fogarty, J., & Sargeant, D. (1989). Protective services for children in Victoria: An interim report. Melbourne: Community Services Victoria.

Goddard, C., & Liddel, M. (1995). Child abuse fatalities and the media: Lessons from a case study. Child Abuse Review, 4, 356–364.

Higgins, D. J., Bromfield, L. M., Richardson, N., Holzer, P., & Berlyn, C. (2009). Mandatory reporting of child abuse (NCPC Resource Sheet).

Holzer, P. (2007). Defining the public health model for the child welfare services context (NCPC Resource Sheet).

Holzer, P., & Bromfield, L. M. (2008). NCPASS comparability of child protection data: Project report (PDF 1.4 MB). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Jeffreys, H., & Stevenson, M. (1996). Statutory social work in a child protection agency: A guide for practice. Whyalla, S.A.: Department of Family and Community Services and the University of South Australia.

Jordan, B., & Sketchley, R. (2009). A stitch in time saves nine. Preventing and respondiong to the abuse and neglect of infants (NCPC Issues No. 30).

Kempe, C. H., Silverman, F. N., Steele, B. F., Droegemueller, W., & Silver, H., K. (1962). The battered-child syndrome. Journal of the American Medical Association, 181, 17–24.

Liddell, M. (1993). Child welfare and care in Australia: Understanding the past to influence the future. In C. R. Goddard & R. Carew (Eds.), Responding to children: Child welfare practice. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire (pp. 28–62).

Liddell, M. (2001). Radical changes and false dawns: Lessons from 30 years of child welfare policy development. Paper presented at the Eighth Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Melbourne.

Liddell, M., & Goddard, C. (1995). Victorian child welfare: A continuing crisis of policy and provision. Paper presented at the Social Policy and the Challenges of Social Change, Sydney.

Lonne, B., Parton, N., Thompson, J., & Harries, M. (2009). Reforming child protection. London & New York: Routledge.

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. (2000). A history of the NSPCC: Protecting Children from Cruelty since 1884. London: NSPCC.

New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. (2000). The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children: 125th Anniversary (1875–2000). New York: NYSPCC.

O'Donnell, M., Scott, D., & Stanley, F. (2008). Child abuse and neglect—is it time for a public health approach? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 32(4), 325–330.

Scott, D. (2006). Towards a public health model of child protection in Australia. Communities, Children and Families Australia, 1(1), 9–16.

Scott, D., & Swain, S. (2002). Confronting cruelty: Historical perspectives on child protection in Australia. Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press.

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Posted: Apr 26, 2011 6:04 PM MST Updated: Apr 29, 2011 4:24 PM MST

By Leasa Conze, producer - email

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - A Tucson mother admits she didn't do all she could to save her son from his step-father.

Today Monica Ibarra-Dogbevi pleaded guilty to child abuse in the death of 6-year-old Michael Ibarra.

She admitted in court that she didn't protect him and didn't get medical help for him after he'd been beaten.

She told Judge Leonardo she saw her son's bruises over several months but kept quiet because she was afraid and she didn't know how to get out of the situation.

Paramedics found Michael unconscious suffering from a head injury at the family's home last August.

Before going into surgery, he woke up and told paramedics he fell down the stairs while being spanked by his step-father.

Michael went through a second emergency surgery and he was on life support for more than a week before it was removed and he died.

He was covered in bruises and his autopsy revealed he had had two spinal fractures and a broken hand.

Today his mother pleaded guilty to two counts of child abuse and as part of the plea agreement, she will testify against her husband.

Koffi Dogbevi, who is charged with first degree murder and child abuse, is set to go on trial June 28.

Child Protective Services interviewed the boy twice in the month before he died.

Both CPS and the Tucson Police Department investigated Dogbevi but he wasn't charged with anything until Michael died.

Copyright 2011 KOLD. All rights reserved.


First Posted: April 22, 2011 - 8:30 pm
Last Updated: April 22, 2011 - 8:30 pmAAA



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TUCSON, Ariz. — A Tucson woman accused of harming her baby has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and child abuse.

Pima County prosecutors say 21-year-old Blanca Reneis Montano allegedly contaminated the 7-month-old girl's intravenous lines.

Montano was arraigned Friday. Her next court hearing is June 9.

Authorities say Montano took her daughter and a son to University Medical Center on Feb. 23 for the flu, but tests showed they had E. coli.

Both children improved after treatment, but the baby ended up in critical condition after developing nine different fungal, bacterial and viral infections.

Tucson police and state Child Protective Services were called by medical personnel because they were suspicious Montano was causing the baby's ill health. She was arrested April 5. The baby recovered and is in CPS custody.

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Save A Life by Angie Kassabie

Save A Life by Angie Kassabie
I URGE ALL MY FRIENDS TO READ & SHARE THIS; YOU COULD SAVE A LOVED ONES LIFE BY KNOWING THIS SIMPLE INFORMATION!!! Stroke has a new indicator! They say if you forward this to ten people, you stand a chance of saving one life. Will you send this along? Blood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue: During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) ...she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Jane's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 PM Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead. It only takes a minute to read this. A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough. >>RECOGNIZING A STROKE<< Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions: S *Ask the individual to SMILE. T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. Chicken Soup) R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved. I have done my part. Will you?

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