Caseworker in fatal child abuse case charged

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.

Source: SACA_NEW__BABY_BLUE_2200x2200(KUSA-TV © 2015 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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