Thursday, May 1, 2008

Child dies after possible abuse

(CLAREMORE, Okla.) April 29 -

Disturbing information in connection with the child abuse death of a four-year-old boy in Claremore.

Also, questions are being raised about if the Department of Human Services did enough to protect the child.

A Claremore man is suspected of killing his stepson Christopher Barnard.

FOX23 News has been looking into this and found that DHS is familiar with this family.

Police say a babysitter called them last May. Then in August a family friend made another call to police. They say both reported seeing bruises on the child.

Police referred both cases to DHS. But now the child is dead and documents paint a horrible portrait of what happened to the little boy.

Physical therapist Scott Anderson's job is to help people get back to normal after being injured.

Scott says he can't imagine anyone hurting a child. “It's just a tragedy, and as a father, it breaks my heart because I've got a seven-year-old daughter, Kiley, and she's the world to me.”

Scott's business is close to where police say Christopher’s stepfather hurt him so badly he died.
Police say the stepfather was angry because the boy soiled his pants. “The officers at the scene immediately observed marks and indications of injury to the child's body that they associated with potential child abuse”, said Assistant Chief Stan Brown with the Claremore Police Department.

According to documents, the stepfather says he hit the child twice in the stomach with a closed fist.

After the blows to the stomach he spanked the child with a belt. Soon after the boy stopped breathing.

Police say it's not the first time the home has caught their attention. In fact, DHS had investigated twice, prior to Monday's death.

DHS declined our request for a comment. A spokeswoman says the agency may comment at a later time.

Police say the initial medical examiner's findings, is that the boy died from blunt force trauma to the stomach.

Original Article -

Child dies after possible abuse - FOX23 News

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