Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services breaks down child homicide cases, identifies who was in their system when they died

Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services breaks down child homicide cases, identifies who was in their system when they died

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland 19 News is taking a deeper look at kids being murdered.

After submitting a public record request, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office provided Cleveland 19 News with a listing of child fatality cases that came through their office between 2015 and 2017.

We took the listing of kids, which total 269, and broke it down into categories.

We identified that 44 children were murdered.

Classified as homicide victims.

After the Aniya Day-Garrett, 4, case broke on March 11 where a mother and her boyfriend were arrested and charged with aggravated murder, we wanted to see how many of the murdered kids had cases or were known to Cuyahoga County's Children and Family Service system at the time of their deaths or within 12 months prior.

After initially declining to release the data, Spokeswoman for Cuyahoga County, Mary Louise Madigan along with Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services Deputy Director Tamara Chapman-Wagner and Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office Administrator Hugh Shannon agreed to a conference call with Cleveland 19 News to go over the comparison.

During the conference call, CCCFS went over each of the 44 child homicide cases provided to them by Cleveland 19 News. CCCFS was only able to confirm if the child who died had an active case at the time of their death or within the 12 months prior to their death.

Of the 44 cases, 7 children were known to the system at the time of their deaths or within the 12 months prior. Cuyahoga County Children and Family services was not prepared to release if any of the 44 murdered children had cases prior to the 12 months leading up to their deaths. The system tracks within 12 months, to pull that data would take "a lot of time" says Chapman-Wagner.

Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan acknowledged that while some children who died did not have cases within 12 months prior to their death, a parent or legal guardian may have been in the system for another child, just not the one who passed away.

It was also noted that some of the murdered children known to the CCCFS system were killed by gun violence, not by abuse or neglect from a parent or legal guardian like in the Aniya Day-Garrett case.

Tuesday, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Buddish announced that there would be a review of the Department of Children and Family Services procedures.

This, after the death of Aniya it was discovered that she was known to the Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services system.

There were three reports of abuse or neglect reported to CCCFS in 2017, within 12 months of Aniya's death. CCCFS case workers ruled that there wasn't enough evidence to remove Aniya from her home even though a daycare administrator submitted 14 reports of abuse to authorities and a case worker in May 2017.

The daycare who submitted the reports, Harbor Crest Childcare Academy, is currently under investigation by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services to see if they were reporting abuse and neglect as they are required to do, as a mandatory reporting agency.

In the case of Ta'Naejah McCloud who died in March 2017,  CCCFS sent two case workers in for discipline following their internal investigation of how the case was managed, investigated and handled.

The two workers resigned instead of being disciplined and no longer worker at Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services. CCCFS investigates all child fatality cases where the child was known to CCCFS within 24 hours of their death to see if there was something their workers could have done differently. A lessons learned review.

Cuyahoga County's expert panel was appointed to not only review Aniya's case, but to also look at how her tragedy could be prevented from happening again.

Listing of children who died who were known to Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services within 12 months prior to their death:

  1. Jaevelle Elliot Swift, age 15: Gunshot Wound. Had a case with CCCFS within 12 months prior to death.
  2. TaNaejah McCloud, age 5: Blunt Force Injuries, Had a current, active case with CCCFS at the time of death
  3. Zuri Mikayla Whitehead, age 2 months: Blunt impacts to head, neck, trunk. Had a case with CCCFS within 12 months prior to death
  4. Aavielle Nevaeh Wakefield, age 5 months: Multiple Gunshot Wounds: Had a case with CCCFS within 12 months prior to death
  5. Alexander J.Mullins, age 16: Multiple Gunshot Wounds: Had a case with CCCFS within 12 months prior to death
  6. Jason R. Davis, age 14: Stab Wound to Neck: Had a current, active case with CCCFS at the time of death
  7. Jordan A. Rodriguez, age 5: Homicide by Unspecified Means: Had a case with CCCFS within 12 months prior to death

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