Child Deaths Unsolved As Autopsies Fall Behind Pt-1 of 2

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Shelly Medeiros mourns loss of her Grandson

Dozens of cases of Massachusetts children who may have died of abuse and neglect remain unresolved for years because investigators have been hamstrung by delays in obtaining death reports and difficulty determining whether deaths were accidental, natural, or the results of a crime, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting has found.

The state medical examiner’s office, long under fire for delays in performing adult autopsies, is even slower when children die, taking an average of 242 days to find an official cause of death in child abuse and neglect cases.

Official death reports based on those findings sometimes take more than three years to complete, the New England Center found in its review of 102 cases, including the case of a 1-month-old boy who died in 2012 and whose death determination is still pending.

The unresolved cases include three open homicide investigations, but also many others in which the medical examiner was unable to determine whether the child was deliberately killed.  In more than 40 percent of the cases reviewed, the medical examiner’s report listed the cause of death as “undetermined.”

As a series of high-profile child abuse deaths in Massachusetts make headlines — including the September arraignment of the alleged killer of 2-year-old Bella Bond, whose body was found in a trash bag on Deer Island — family members of children whose abuse drew far less public notice question if justice will ever be served in their cases.

“We have been trying so hard to find out what happened.  This has been going on for two years,’’ said Sharon Crawford of the Whitinsville section of Northbridge, who says her daughter called the medical examiner repeatedly, sometimes several times a day, for news about the 2013 case of her 10-year-old son, Isaiah Buckner, whose death had been linked by social workers to abuse and neglect.

But when the medical examiner’s report finally came Oct. 21, the cause of death was listed as “undetermined,” leaving criminal prosecutors little to go on.

“I just want justice for my grandson,” said Crawford.

Trying to hire examiners

State officials acknowledge that the medical examiner’s office has been plagued by delays, and is currently facing a backlog of 1,922 pending autopsy reports from 2011 to 2014. Daniel Bennett, secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, said the office is trying to hire more examiners and other staff to reduce the backlog.

“There are failures within the system,’’ he said. The state, for example, did not have access to a doctor who could examine infant hearts for almost a year, an issue that was resolved in May.  “The medical examiner’s office has been climbing out of a hole for the last two years,” he said.

Still, even with sufficient resources, the process is necessarily painstaking and slow in some cases, Bennett said.  Infant deaths, for instance, sometimes require multiple scientific tests and the review of reports from law enforcement, the state Department of Children and Families, and hospitals.

And not all cases can be resolved.  Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said that investigating and prosecuting child maltreatment deaths can be particularly challenging for law enforcement.

When young children die, there are often few clues about the cause.

Unlike adults or older children, they generally leave no trail of evidence such as text messages, nor a wide circle of adults who might have noticed or suspected signs of abuse, and little verbal capacity to tell anyone about their plight before death.  Children also are often in the care of more than one person in the period leading up to their deaths, making it harder to identify a suspect.

“It tears your heart out in some of these cases,” Early said.  “We can only go where the facts and the evidence take us.”

Beyond the heartbreak for families, the delays and uncertainty in these cases may also be putting other children at risk, say child advocates.  Stephen C. Boos, medical director for the Family Advocacy Center at Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield, said long delays can hurt investigations, potentially allowing killers to escape responsibility.

“It is scary to have potential child murderers running around with other children,” said Boos.

That very thought has haunted Shelly Medeiros for years.

Pressing for answers

After 8-month-old Jay Hudson Bassett was rushed to a Worcester hospital on Thanksgiving, 2012, Medeiros, his maternal grandmother, quickly fixated on the bruise above his left eye.  As the once-playful boy lay unconscious, Medeiros began a mantra of grief that hasn’t stopped to this day:  “Something isn’t right.”

Police records show that UMass Memorial Medical Center hospital initially linked Jay’s death to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome — but Medeiros hounded authorities to look more closely.  Eighteen months later, in May 2014, her worst fear was confirmed: The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled Jay’s death a homicide caused by “blunt trauma” to the head and neck, inflicted by others.

Now, three years after Jay’s death, no one has been charged, and the investigation remains open.  Jay’s parents, Hailey Corrente and Marben Santiago, were with the baby when he stopped breathing, police records show.

They cut ties with Medeiros shortly after the child’s death and moved out-of-state.  The couple, who have a new baby boy, declined to answer questions about Jay when a reporter visited last spring and left several phone calls and text messages over the last six months.

While there is no evidence that Corrente and Santiago are suspects in the open police investigation, Medeiros believes that, at the very least, Jay’s parents know what happened.  And she believes the long delay in making a death ruling seriously undermined the investigation.

“In 18 months, everything changed,” said Medeiros, 51, of North Attleboro, who says her obsession with her grandson’s death keeps her awake at night.  “Evidence wasn’t sealed off.  My daughter and her boyfriend were allowed to leave town.”

The languishing child death investigations and cold cases are symptomatic of a state government that has often given low priority to abused and neglected youths, many specialists say.

Recent highly publicized child abuse cases have spurred Governor Charlie Baker to propose reforms to help keep at-risk children safe.

But much less has been said about what happens after children die.

The New England Center analyzed all child maltreatment deaths reported by DCF from 2009 to 2013 for which a death certificate was available and found a discouraging pattern:

  • The medical examiner’s office determined the cause and manner of death in only about one-third of child maltreatment deaths within 90 days, a performance dramatically below the minimum standards set by the National Association of Medical Examiners, which expects 90 percent of autopsy reports to be done in that time.  A top official at the National District Attorneys Association called the Massachusetts delays “unacceptable.”
  • Some of the open criminal investigations into children who died of abuse and neglect between 2009 and 2013 are more than five years old, raising concerns among child advocates that they may have fallen through the cracks.  In all, law enforcement agencies have open investigations into the deaths of at least 14 children on DCF’s list of abuse and neglect victims between 2009 and 2013.
  • In 45 of the 102 child maltreatment fatalities reviewed by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, medical examiners could not determine the manner of death – meaning they couldn’t decide among two or more causes, including whether a child died of an accident, homicide, suicide, or natural events.  The majority involve what DCF calls “unsafe sleep” deaths linked to parents who shared a bed or put babies to sleep on their bellies, actions said to put children at higher safety risk. Other deaths involve children who ingested sleeping pills, were drowned, or were injured.

William Fitzpatrick, president of the National District Attorneys Association, based in Alexandria, Va., said there is no national database to examine what happens to children whose homicides go unprosecuted.

However, he is certain that more children are victims of homicide than data suggests.  With a sudden infant death, for example, a child could have accidentally suffocated, he said, but there are often not enough clues to confirm that.  Even when there’s evidence of wrongdoing, he said, prosecutors don’t always know who did it — particularly if two parents were present.

“The underreported story is the child victims that go unprosecuted,’’ he said.  “It’s sadly extremely easy to kill a child.”

When Massachusetts’ child deaths are ruled homicides, police do a pretty good job of closing cases, records show.  According to criminologist James Alan Fox of Northeastern University, Massachusetts police solve 90 percent of homicides involving children under 11 years old, a much higher clearance rate than for murder cases involving older children and adults, according to an analysis of 2000 to 2013 data he carried out for the New England Center.

But there is no data in Massachusetts or nationwide to show how many of those homicide investigations led to charges and convictions, said Ryan Backmann, executive director of the Florida-based nonprofit Project: Cold Case Inc. Languishing death investigations mean long delays in identifying and prosecuting perpetrators, Backmann said.

“In the meantime these people are going to have other children,” Backmann said

Reward Doubled For Texas Child Molester

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Donald Jack Robertson II, 43

Authorities have doubled a reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspected child molester with Dallas ties.

Donald Jack Robertson II, 43, is accused of sexually assaulting two children in 2011 in Lamar County, records show.  He faces charges of indecency and sexual assault of a child.

A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information leading to his arrest.

Robertson has connections to Dallas and Paris, Texas.  His last known address was on Summerwood Circle in far northeast Dallas.

He is described as 6-foot-1, 160 pounds and has a tattoo of a fist holding a lightning bolt on his upper left arm.  He also has a scar on his right wrist. He has an interest in online gaming.

Officials said Robertson should be considered armed and dangerous.  Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-252-8477 or submit a tip via Facebook.

UPDATE – Featured Most Wanted Fugitive Arrested in Oregon

AUSTIN, TX  –  Donald Jack Robertson II, 43, a Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitive and November’s featured fugitive, is now in custody after being captured on Nov. 23 in Portland, Oregon.

Robertson had been wanted since 2011 for aggravated sexual assault of a child, sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child-sexual contact.  The arrest was the result of tip information, and a reward up to $10,000 will be paid.

Working off tip information, the U.S. Marshals Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force coordinated with the U.S. Marshals Service-District of Oregon to locate and arrest Robertson at a residence in Portland.  Since the arrest was the result of tip information and the tip was received during the month that Robertson was featured, the increased reward of up to $10,000 (originally $5,000) will be paid.

For more information, see his captured bulletin at: http://www.dps.texas.gov/Texas10MostW…/capturedDetails.aspx….

So far in 2015, DPS and other agencies have arrested 28 Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitives and Sex Offenders, including 19 sex offenders, and $79,000 in rewards have been paid for tips that resulted in arrests.

One offender from the Texas 10 Most Wanted Program is featured each month in hopes the higher reward money from the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division will generate additional tips.

TX Sex Offender Gets 15 Years For Child Porn

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Steven Lass, 33

More than 2,200 images of Child Pornography found on iPods and thumb drive, some of it showing babies.

A registered sex offender from Arlington TX was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison Tuesday for possessing hundreds of images of child pornography, some of which showed babies.

Steven Lass, 33, pleaded guilty in April to one count of possession of child pornography, according to a release from the U.S. attorney’s office.

In August 2014, Lass was pulled over by a Midlothian police officer who noticed that the passenger seat of Lass’ vehicle was missing.  In its place were tools and electronic devices, including two iPods and a thumb drive later found to contain more than 2,200 images of child porn.

The evidence was seized by the FBI, whose investigation revealed “the lewd and lascivious exhibition of the genitals and public are of minors,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks said in a written release.

Lass was required to register as a sex offender after a 2005 arrest in Euless.  He was convicted of indecency with a child, an 8-year-old girl, sentenced to nine years and later paroled.

Cell Phones Seized In VA Child Abuse Case

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Jwawn Lamont James Sr., 41

Roanoke Memorial staff said the child had retinal hemorrhaging, which is commonly associated with “Shaken Baby Syndrome”

SALEM, VA  –  Newly released search warrants detail moments leading up to the death of a 3-month-old child in Salem.

Salem police have charged the father, Jwawn Lamont James Sr., 41, with abuse and neglect of a child, and aggravated malicious wounding.

According to court documents, on Wednesday, Nov. 18 Salem Fire & Rescue along with officers from the Salem Police Department responded to 1016 Homestead Dr. in Salem in reference to an unresponsive child.

Upon arrival, police interviewed the child’s father, James, to determine the circumstances that led to the child’s state.

James advised to police as he was carrying his daughter into the home he tripped at the front door and dropped the car seat/carrier.

James indicated she was not strapped in, which caused his daughter to fall out of the car seat/carrier and on to her face and head.

James said he then picked up the child, checked to make sure she was OK, and placed her into the bassinet while he took a shower. James told police that after getting out of the shower, he found his daughter unresponsive and called 911.  James said he proceeded to shake his daughter due to her being unresponsive.

The 3-month-old was transported to Roanoke Memorial for treatment.

At the hospital, detectives spoke with hospital staff regarding the child’s condition.  Roanoke Memorial staff said the child had retinal hemorrhaging, which is commonly associated with “Shaken Baby Syndrome”, a collapsed lung, and head trauma.

Roanoke Memorial Hospital staff advised the child’s injuries were not consistent with the manner in which James provided that they occurred, and more likely the result of child abuse.

As a result, detectives requested to search James’ residence for any evidence related to abuse.

Things searched for:

  • Any and all seats, swings, and/or bassinets that the child may have been placed-in to include the padding and bedding commonly associated with these items
  • Any and all documents related to the care of the child such as hospital and/or doctor records
  • Any and all throw-rugs and/or mats located in the entry way of the residence
  • Any and all medications appropriate to be administered to a 3 month old child
  • Any and all pacifiers and/or other soothing devices
  • Any and all devices such as bottles or spoons used to feed a 3 month old child
  • Resident searched: 1016 Homestead Drive in Salem – single story ranch style home

Also, detectives have seized three cell phones – a Samsung Galaxy, Kyocera, and Motorola Droid – for the search and forensic analysis of the electronic devices and storage media for digital/text pictures, call logs, SMS messages, contact and videos.

Jared’s Syndrome

The Manipulation Of The American Lemming

I had been hearing Psychologists and Psychiatrists were going to do the same as was done in the 1970’s, which was, in effect, manipulate data and studies to achieve another perversion of the morals of America.

On November 07, 2015, I found the first article of what will be many more to come.

http://www.wdaz.com/news/north-dakota/3877780-sex-offenders-psychological-viewpoint

The next day, I posted an Editorial before posting this first attempt at the further perverting of Our Country. In this Editorial I warned everyone of the tricks and out-and-out lies that will be used to sugar-coat the truth of what will steal the innocence of Our Children, and ultimately, their futures.

In one sentence this Psychologist callas this a sexual orientation, yet in the very next paragraph, she calls it sexual urges, which is the same as a fantasy.

This is not a fantasy to Our Children, nor is it make believe, THIS IS AN ADULT RAPING A CHILD!!!!

I Am My Brother’s Keeper
http://notinmyworld.org/2015/11/08/good-parenting-44/

Sex Offenders From A Psychological Viewpoint
http://notinmyworld.org/2015/11/08/good-parenting-45/

After all of this, I find that “SubWay Jared” is saying that it wasn’t his fault that he had sex with Children.

In this broken, perverse society in which we live, there is a serious lack of RESPONSIBILITY FOR A PERSON’S OWN ACTIONS, A SERIOUS LACK OF RESPECT FOR THE LAWS OF OUR LAND, AND A SERIOUS LACK OF RESPECT FOR OFFICERS OF THE LAW.

  • A sex offender will molest an average of 120 victims.
  • There are 3,000,000 reports of Child Maltreatment every year, yet far less than 25% of the incidents are ever reported. This translates to over 12,000,000 incidents of Child Maltreatment per year.
  • This year alone, 10,000,000 Children, ages 13 and up, will contract at least one or more STI or STD.
  • I have yet to locate a compiled list for the number of Children, ages Birth to 12, that will contract an STI or STD.
  • This year alone there will be at least 2,000,000 runaways.
  • At least 1 in 6 runaways will fall into Child Sex Traffickers hands.
  • This translates into 333,340 Children that will fall into Child Sex Traffickers hands, AND BE RAPED.
  • The average victims age is 11 to 14.
  • The average life span of a victim is 3 to 7 years.

So I want you to think about how many of these Children are being protected by a Psychologist, and I believe you are like me in one respect, and that is I DO NOT WANT ANY CHILD PREDATORS OR SEX OFFENDERS NEAR A CHILD.

Jared Of Subway Guilty Of Sex With Children But It Isn’t His Fault

Did You Make A Difference Today?