Tuesday, June 17, 2008

CHILD WELFARE CASE: Dead boy's parents can visit kids

This is a follow up to these two stories I posted in the last few days....

Parents Denied Custody of Kids Following Son's Death

Child Dies After Being Left in Car


CHILD WELFARE CASE: Dead boy's parents can visit kids

Officials took four children after boy was left in vehicle 17 hours


The parents of a 4-year-old boy who died after being left in a family vehicle for 17 hours will be allowed to visit the children taken from their home, a Clark County Family Court hearing master ruled Monday.

Lawyers for Stanley and Colleen Rimer said they hoped the parents could begin supervised visits with their four boys at Child Haven as early as Monday.

The parents were "excited" at the ruling by Hearing Master Frank Sullivan, said Ismael Santellan, Colleen Rimer's court-appointed lawyer.

"They love their children, and they want to see them as soon as possible," he said after the morning hearing, which was closed to the media to protect the children's privacy.

Clark County Child Protective Services removed the four children, ages 7 to 15, from the family home June 9 after Jason Rimer was found dead in a sport utility vehicle outside the east Las Vegas house. The boy had been left overnight in the SUV, Las Vegas police said.

Stanley Rimer's lawyer, Lew Wolfbrandt, said he hoped the children would be released to the parents or a relative after the next hearing on Friday.

The boys could be released to a relative who has passed a background check, Santellan said.

The family would likely postpone Jason's funeral until his brothers could attend the service, Wolfbrandt said.

"They're pretty distraught over everything," he said of the parents. "They've lost a young son, and through the course of that they've lost the other four temporarily."

He said he expected the district attorney's office to file a civil petition charging the parents with abuse and neglect by Friday.

"I'd be surprised if there wasn't," Wolfbrandt said.

The lawyer said his client would deny the accusations, which would probably include lack of supervision.

"They didn't know where Jason was, and they should have," he said.

Both parents' lawyers also said they were prepared for possible criminal charges to be filed.

"You assume the worst, thinking they would bring down charges at some point in the near future," Santellan said.

The Las Vegas police criminal investigation was ongoing.

One of Jason's brothers found him in the SUV about 8:30 a.m. outside the family home on East Cleveland Avenue, near Sahara Avenue and Nellis Boulevard.

Family spokesman Michael Gonzalez had said the home was in disarray when the family came home from church the previous afternoon. The family was having carpets cleaned and all of the beds and mattresses were propped against the walls. The family slept "campstyle" around the television that night while the youngest son remained in the SUV, he said.

Last week, Stanley Rimer told news radio station KDWN-AM, 720 that he and his wife were sick and their older children were supposed to be looking after the younger ones after the family got home Sunday afternoon. Jason's five older brothers were in and out of the house the rest of the day, but nobody noticed Jason wasn't around, Rimer said.

The coroner's office was awaiting test results before determining what killed the boy.

Child Protective Services removed the four children because of concerns about the condition of the home, which was unkempt and in disarray.

"With seven kids in the house, how could you not be messy?" Gonzalez said last week.

Members of the Rimers' Mormon church cleaned the house Monday night, Gonzalez and neighbors said.

Child Protective Services previously had contact with the family, most recently last year when a case was unsubstantiated, according to the Clark County Department of Family Services.

In 1988, a complaint was substantiated, but officials would not release details.

Contact reporter Brian Haynes at bhaynes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0281.

Original Article-

ReviewJournal.com - News - CHILD WELFARE CASE: Dead boy's parents can visit kids

Related Article-

KXNT - Las Vegas - Parents of Late Child Back in Court

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