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Archive for Friday, August 20, 2010

De Soto boy found in attic recovering at hospital

August 20, 2010

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— A 6-year-old boy found confined to his mother’s attic earlier this week is doing well.

The boy, who relatives describe as always having been on the small side, has Down syndrome and weighed only 20 pounds Tuesday when he was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital for emergency treatment. Deputies found the boy covered in feces in the cramped attic of Perez’s duplex Tuesday night.

Sarah Swain, the lawyer for the boy’s grandparents, reports that the family is hopeful the boy will be released from the hospital as early as next week.

Where the boy will go once he is released is still not clear. The boy’s grandparents — Rachel Perez’s father and stepmother — plan to petition the state for custody of Perez’s three children, their attorney said. Perez’s daughters, ages 8 and 5, were with the grandparents until Thursday, when they were taken into state custody. Swain said the grandparents will meet with SRS officials Monday morning to begin custody hearings.

The girls are in good health, Swain said.

How long the 6-year-old had been confined in the attic is still uncertain. A friend of Perez’s who declined to give her name said she hadn’t seen the boy in several weeks.

“Every time I would see Rachel with the girls and ask about [the boy] she just said he was with other relatives or friends, I had no idea,” said the friend.

The grandparents said they had been concerned about the boy for some time and had placed “several” calls to SRS and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department asking that something be done.

“The grandparents are just very upset at this time that it took this long for law enforcement to do something and that the situation had to become this severe,” Swain said.

Comments

kernal 4 years, 4 months ago

So, the system did let him down. Unforgivable. Will be interesting to see what SRS has to say.

Charlie Sabotage 4 years, 4 months ago

This is HORRIBLE. With how hot it's been and to lock this child in the attic? Let alone the grandparents having concerns and calling them in, just to have nothing done? FAIL Kansas SRS. I once knew a person who had some problems and we had to call officials on them but even with proof that the child was in danger the police did nothing. They basically told us that the child had to be near death in the hospital for them to take the child. Luckily, the child is now safe for the caregiver is doing much better now but it's sad the extreme conditions a child has to be put in to have some action taken.

5thgeneration 4 years, 4 months ago

Kansas SRS is a TOTAL FAILURE. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Would you believe that my ex-wife is still getting child support for her daughter (not my biological) who I've been raising exclusively for the last 5 years? Nothing about them surprises me at this point.

whats_going_on 4 years, 4 months ago

wow...what do they say when you tell them that?

5thgeneration 4 years, 4 months ago

They said........ "Hmmmmmmmmmm......... this sounds like fraud." Then they transferred me to a fraud hot line. They said that they would "look into it." I still have the girl, and she still gets checks.

kateku 4 years, 4 months ago

SRS is NOT responsible for child support. That's the courts decision. Did you adopt the child? Sounds like a case for family court, not SRS.

5thgeneration 4 years, 4 months ago

There have been other things as well. Vision cards in both her name and the child's name. The list goes on and on.

tomcats 4 years, 4 months ago

Why didn't the grandparents go over to this house and demand to know were this little boy was? I think everyone dropped the ball on this poor boy.

whats_going_on 4 years, 4 months ago

I'm guessing they weren't on speaking terms with the "mother" seeing as they contacted authorities directly several times AND called her out on this one.

tears4myangel 4 years, 4 months ago

they had to be on "speaking terms" they had the girls!!!

tears4myangel 4 years, 4 months ago

I totally agree!!! I mean they had the girls up till srs took them away from them... I really think that there is a lot more to this story.... I feel the mother should be locked up there like she did to that little angel!! I mean come on he's six and weighs half as much as what he should... I have a niece who has downs and she is the best thing that happened to our family!!! I hope the grandparents really did all that they could over the past 6 yrs for their grandson and that it didnt take maybe the mom wanting the girls back home and them not wanting to let them go home so they decided to become the worried grandparents about their other grandchild.

weeslicket 4 years, 4 months ago

unbelievable. well, wish it were unbelievable.

meggers 4 years, 4 months ago

LJW, its Down's Syndrome, not Down syndrome.

This is just unspeakably horrid. She had to have known that he would likely die. Why make him suffer like that, instead of just killing him and being done with it? I'm glad she didn't, of course, but the torture she put that child through defies any reason whatsoever. As she's strolling about with her daughters and hanging out in the A/C, her child is slowly starving to death in an unbearably hot attic. I'll bet he could smell whatever food they were cooking, too, hoping his mommy would let him come out and have some. Until he got too weak to care, anymore. Sick stuff- I hope there's a special place in hell for people like her.

funkdog1 4 years, 4 months ago

The Journal World, like many newspapers, follows the grammar rules set down by the Associated Press Stylebook, which clearly states that Down Syndrome is correct.

wmathews 4 years, 4 months ago

It seems you guys have solved this one, but FWIW... The Associated Press Stylebook entry for Down syndrome clearly states not to use Down's. Here is the exact entry:

"Down syndrome: Not Down’s, for the genetic, chromosomal disorder first reported in 1866 by Dr. J. Langdon Down. (Source: AP Stylebook)"

So for news organizations that subscribe to AP style, only Down syndrome is correct.

Whitney Mathews Online Editor

fuel_for_the_fire 4 years, 4 months ago

Actually, it is Down syndrome in this country or Down's syndrome in the UK. The 's' in syndrome is not capitalized when it is in the body of a text. You may see it capitalized when it is in a title, as in the Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk which is on September 25. This is a great event by the way.

Kelly Johnson 4 years, 4 months ago

The other thing I keep thinking about is how traumatic it must have been for those girls if they knew he was up there but couldn't do anything to help him. I hope they didn't know. This "egg donor" is pure EVIL and deserves harsh punishment. There are really some crimes that I believe should be punished by having the perpetrator go through what they put the victim through, and this is one of them.

Munsoned 4 years, 4 months ago

20 pounds. I can't even wrap my head around it. Prayers to him and his grandparents.

Kat Christian 4 years, 4 months ago

I had a sister born DS - she passed away 2 years ago at the age of 51. I couldn't imagine how anyone would treating a child with DS so cruelly. She was the light in our family and I miss her so. I imagine if this child was kept in the attic that this woman was most likely cruel ot him in other ways. I pray he gets help and lots of love and compasion so he can grow up to be self sufficient and without emotional problems. I hope as she sits in her cell tonight she thinks of the horror she put that little boy through.

MyDogHoudini 4 years, 4 months ago

Where's the dad? Sure, we can all say that the mother is a horrible person. But what about the dad? Did he abandon all three of the children and leave the mom to deal with everything? Maybe he should be her cell mate.

Kat Christian 4 years, 4 months ago

I agree where is the Dad? He is just as responsible as the mother as to what has happened.

Family_of_3 4 years, 4 months ago

I had read in another newspaper that the Dad had been deported to Mexico a year ago.

Amy Heeter 4 years, 4 months ago

SRS can only enter a home if there is cause. If the truth be known any parent can refuse entrance if no court order is present. Another truth is that no person is required to allow police to enter without a warrant either. Judges just don't sign warrants on anonymous calls or even calls from relatives. SRS can go to schools to speak to siblings, but since school just began again it is unlikely they would have had access to the girls before the last week or so. Then of course chances are that the siblings may have been told to stay quiet too. Having said that I do think child protective services is a joke. If they spent more time investigating real abuse cases like this one and less time justifying their jobs by setting up case plans with people they have targeted; the children the profess to protect would be better served

kernal 4 years, 4 months ago

"...and less time justifying their jobs by setting up case plalns with people they have targeted..." I'm not quite sure what your you're getting at artichoke.

Amy Heeter 4 years, 4 months ago

Like this

tears4myangel (anonymous) replies… "Are you serious? I believe that due to alot of people calling in bogus reports on others is a major reason why the kids that are being abused are over looked. I strongly think that those people should be punished and dont say they are cause my sister n law has called n on me numerous times and although i have always been cleared of the bogus reports nothing has been done to her for calling in just because she is mad at me or at my husband....There are many CPS workers who are just there to collect a paycheck, they dont care about the kids. So i really dont agree with your statement of people who think CPS is a joke is abusing or neglecting their children. I also cant believe the grandparents where as concerned as they are trying to have others believe. I mean come on they had the girls! And he is 6 yrs old the mother just didnt start doing this to him overnight it has had to been going on for years"

meggers 4 years, 4 months ago

Thanks, Roe. I stand corrected. I still think Down's is the more commonly used term, but as you point out, both are correct.

KansasPerson 4 years, 4 months ago

As an indexer primarily of medical books, I want to throw in my two cents here. In some medical texts, the "possessive" construction of many conditions is being done away with. The idea behind it is, the syndrome is usually (not always) named after the doctor or scientist who discovered or defined it, but the apostrophe-s implies possession, and in these cases, Dr. Down or whoever didn't actually have the syndrome.

However, the decision on usage is still controversial and really depends on the organization that's behind whatever you're reading. Most of my publisher-clients have done away with the apostrophe, as have most of the U.S. style guides I've seen, but some are still retaining the apostrophe. I actually prefer it without, but as a good indexer I follow whatever style guide I'm given. :)

Fixed_Asset 4 years, 4 months ago

The law gives SRS the authority to investigate reports of child abuse and neglect. If there is refusal to enter the home, a court order is very easily obtained. While law enforcement is normally required to have a warrant to enter a private home, an exigent circumstance, such as an endangered child, would allow them to enter without a warrant.

It has been my experience that those who believe CPS is a joke are the same ones abusing or neglecting their children.

Kat Christian 4 years, 4 months ago

Your last statement is a crock. SRS/CPS is disorganized and dsyfunctional not to mention underfunded. It has been a tradition in this country that children are always last on the list for funding and other services, including education. Thank God we do have people who fight for these kids for better educational programs, schools and funding. I can exactly say what the exact problem is with CPS perhaps they don't listen, don't take this jobs serious enough, some are lazy, or whoever makes the rules these social workers follow is being realistic. I don't know. I do know it needs to be FIXED. For the sake of children who are being abused or neglected. Because what I hear the children taken from families are usually not in that much danger whereas the family could use counceling or perhaps monitoring to understand their behavior, while the children who are seriously abused are being passed up.

tears4myangel 4 years, 4 months ago

Are you serious? I believe that due to alot of people calling in bogus reports on others is a major reason why the kids that are being abused are over looked. I strongly think that those people should be punished and dont say they are cause my sister n law has called n on me numerous times and although i have always been cleared of the bogus reports nothing has been done to her for calling in just because she is mad at me or at my husband....There are many CPS workers who are just there to collect a paycheck, they dont care about the kids. So i really dont agree with your statement of people who think CPS is a joke is abusing or neglecting their children. I also cant believe the grandparents where as concerned as they are trying to have others believe. I mean come on they had the girls! And he is 6 yrs old the mother just didnt start doing this to him overnight it has had to been going on for years.

Kat Christian 4 years, 4 months ago

I agree with you. I don't think the boy should go into the grandparents home either. I do hope they find a loving and understandilng family to take him. DS children are so special and loving. I grew up around them, since my younger sister was born DS. They are funny, loving and loyal human beings. I truely believe God's gift to this world. Like little angels. I hope that sweet boy gets a good home.

Fixed_Asset 4 years, 4 months ago

We all have different experiences, sunshine. I agree our legislature needs to fix the funding problem and ASAP. Perhaps my statement was too general. It has been my experience, of which I have many years, that those who complain about CPS "targeting" innocent people are the same folks who have been investigated and are more than likely guilty in some form of abusing or neglecting their children.

"Because what I hear the children taken from families are usually not in that much danger whereas the family could use counceling or perhaps monitoring to understand their behavior, while the children who are seriously abused are being passed up"

So, tell me, what is your criteria for "not in that much danger"???????

Amy Heeter 4 years, 4 months ago

"Because what I hear the children taken from families are usually not in that much danger whereas the family could use counceling or perhaps monitoring to understand their behavior, while the children who are seriously abused are being passed up"

Seriously passed up would include this child, the two sisters in Wichita being starved by the step mother even though the school called multiple times, the 2 year old encased in concrete in Kansas City whose father called numerous times to report. Just to name a few.

scopi_guy 4 years, 4 months ago

Very thankful to hear he's doing better.

kimk 4 years, 4 months ago

The dad of the youngest daughter got deported however, the dad of Giovanni and the oldest daughter lives in johnson county.

Mean_Green 4 years, 4 months ago

I love hearing the word "deported"; it gives me goosebumps.

tears4myangel 4 years, 4 months ago

Well he should be held responsible also UNLESS his parental rights have been revoked. He should be in jail also.... better yet both parents should be treated as the boy was...the saying treat others how you would want others to treat you... well lets see if they like being treated like they treated their own flesh and blood....and for what because he was a gift to the world and had lots of love to pass out???

kernal 4 years, 4 months ago

It's possible he's no longer in the area or unemployed with no viable source of income. There are a myriad of reasons why he may not be suitable to take custody.

MyDogHoudini 4 years, 4 months ago

So if he doesn't have a job he's absolved of his responsibilities as a parent? If he decided to "leave the area" by abandoning his family because being the parent of a Downs kid was too hard, then he's off the hook? I disagree. If he's in jail already, deported, in the hospital, or otherwise unable to care for anyone but himself, then that's one thing... But if he just conveniently wrote himself out of the picture, I go back to my original suggestion of giving him the jail bunk next to the mother.

supernik 4 years, 4 months ago

why isnt it attempted murder? if she said he wasnt there, and told people he was elsewhere, and had him in that hot attic during the hottest time of summer, why is this not attempted murder?

greenworld 4 years, 4 months ago

SRS will only check on a child if they receive 25 phone calls and the child hasnt been seen for 1 yr. Its just to time consuming and they only get paid min wage for my GOD. Lord be it before its there job to do anything that involves a child being locked up in an attic. SRS will probably put the kid back with the mother as "its the right thing to do." If they break up the family or take them away from the brothers or sisters it could be far detrimental than leaving him locked in the attic. Yeah right!!!!!! WTF...What a joke!!!! This Mother doesnt deserve her kids at all obviously and really needs to be locked up for quite awhile. Anybody ever figure out what her warrants were for I wonder??

SWJayhawk13 4 years, 4 months ago

That's not true. I interned with Child & Family Services and if we got a phone call (or a hotline call) it had to be investigated. If we were able to determine that the report was untrue, it got dropped, but if there was any indication that the report was true and there was ANY kind of neglect or abuse going on, a whole team of people would be assigned to work with that child/family. If it took at least 25 calls and 1 year, there would be a whole lot less for SRS to do. As is, SRS is underfunded and the caseload is tremendous considering how understaffed they are.

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