KANSAS CITY, Mo. —A toddler who was severely injured in what prosecutors called a serious child abuse case has become Kansas City’s first homicide victim of 2015.
The 2-year-old boy had been placed on life support after the incident early Friday in the 1700 block of Washington Avenue. Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte said the boy died Saturday night.
Mirsad Hamidovic, 23, had previously been charged with two counts of child abuse and two counts of domestic assault.
According to court records, police said Hamidovic had been watching the toddler while the boy’s mother was at work. Police said Hamidovic told them he jumped on and off of a bed and landed on top of the boy. Police said Hamidovic also told them that he had shaken the boy, who started vomiting blood and became unresponsive.
Medical personnel said the toddler had brain injuries and a lacerated liver that was consistent with being jumped on.
Gina Gutierrez said she lives near the area. She said a man banged on her door to ask for help with the boy, who wasn’t breathing. She said the boy was soaking wet and she initially thought he had drowned, but the man said he put him in a shower to try to wake him up. She said she tried as best she could to revive the boy.
She said she’s been unable to get news of the incident out of her head.
“I definitely feel for that baby’s mom. Because she made a choice. She left her baby with him and I know she wishes she could take that back. You do not leave your kid with somebody,” she said.
Prosecutors had previously requested Hamidovic’s bond be set at $500,000. Additional charges against Hamidovic may be filed in the wake of the boy’s death.
DENVER – A former human services caseworker was charged Thursday in connection to a fatal child abuse case.
Rotchana Madera, 27, was charged with forgery, tampering with evidence and official misconduct.
Madera was a caseworker for Denver Human Services. She’s accused of entering false information into the official case tracking system about her work on the Kelsy Newell-Skinner case. Details about what led up to the charges were not released.
The 21-year-old mother of five was charged with first-degree murder in the beating death of her 2-month-old baby, Natalee, back in July. Police said Newell-Skinner told her mother she “didn’t like” Natalee and had a hard time bonding with the infant.
Denver Human Services said Madera was assigned the Newell-Skinner case in May of 2014, after someone reached out to DHS with concerns about the newborn. She closed the case on July 8, 2014. Natalee died on July 31.
Madera has been released from custody on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond. She is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 5.
Denver Human Services released the following statement regarding charges being filed against Madera:
Denver Human Services takes its responsibility for protecting the most vulnerable among us very seriously. The overwhelming majority of our case workers do all they can each day to strengthen families and keep kids safe. We stand behind those workers and are confident in the work they do. In the unfortunate case when a worker fails to follow the law and fails to do all he or she can to keep kids safe, we are obligated to take the appropriate action and hold that case worker accountable, which is what transpired in this case.
DHS initiates a review of all case work following the death of any child for which the agency had previously investigated a referral. During the review process, DHS identified discrepancies between the case file submitted by Madera and data received via external records.
DHS said they have reviewed other cases Madera was involved in. The agency did not say if they found discrepancies with those other cases.
How and When to Report Child Abuse/Neglect
Standardized Training Materials – Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect: What School Personnel Need to Do
In New Jersey, any person having reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or acts of abuse should immediately report this information to the State Central Registry (SCR). If the child is in immediate danger, call 911 as well as 1-877 NJ ABUSE (1-877-652-2873). A concerned caller does not need proof to report an allegation of child abuse and can make the report anonymously.
What information will I be asked to provide to the hotline screener?
SCR screeners are trained caseworkers who know how to respond to reports of child abuse/neglect. Whenever possible, a caller should provide all of the following information:
Who: The child and parent/caregiver’s name, age and address and the name of the alleged perpetrator and that person’s relationship to the child.
What: Type and frequency of alleged abuse/neglect, current or previous injuries to the child and what caused you to become concerned.
When: When the alleged abuse/neglect occurred and when you learned of it.
Where: Where the incident occurred, where the child is now and whether the alleged perpetrator has access to the child.
How: How urgent the need is for intervention and whether there is a likelihood of imminent danger for the child.
Do callers have immunity from civil or criminal liability?
Any person who, in good faith, makes a report of child abuse or neglect or testifies in a child abuse hearing resulting from such a report is immune from any criminal or civil liability as a result of such action. Calls can be placed to the hotline anonymously.
Is it against the laws of New Jersey to fail to report suspected abuse/neglect?
Any person who knowingly fails to report suspected abuse or neglect according to the law or to comply with the provisions of the law is a disorderly person.
What happens after I make the call?
When a report indicates that a child may be at risk, an investigator from the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (formerly Youth and Family Services) will promptly investigate the allegations of child abuse and neglect within 24 hours of receipt of the report.
SOURCE:STATE OF NEW JERSEY-DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES