The appearance Child-abuse, neglect deaths in Illinois remain high in DCFS-involved cases and still going strong.
March 5, 2014 § Leave a comment
Enoch A. Hayslett brought his 1-month-old son to a hospital emergency room in December 2008, saying the baby was constipated.
Instead, doctors found the infant had a broken femur — an injury Hayslett and the child’s mother couldn’t explain. So the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services took protective custody of the baby and his two older siblings, and a Cook County judge ordered that all three children be placed in foster care.
Hayslett and their mother went on to have more children: a daughter, another son, then twin boys — all of whom lived with the couple in the south suburbs as they sought to regain custody of the three older children.
During that time, DCFS twice investigated complaints that Hayslett was abusing his children but found the allegations not credible, records show.
Then — a month after a child-protection investigator closed the second case — the 5-foot-10, 280-pound Hayslett was charged with beating one of his twin sons to death. The 20-pound boy’s skull was fractured, and he had multiple bruises.
Authorities said Hayslett also abused the other twin and their toddler brother, too.
They arrested the Lynwood man in December 2012 and charged him with first-degree murder, among other charges.
Last Father’s Day, Hayslett hanged himself at the Cook County Jail.
His 8-month-old son Lamar Hayslett was among 27 Illinois children to die from abuse or neglect in DCFS’ last reporting year after they or their families already had been involved with the agency, aChicago Sun-Times and WBEZ examination of newly released records from the DCFS inspector general’s office has found. Five more cases were under investigation, those records show.
On Wednesday, the head of child-death investigations for DCFS Inspector General Denise Kane said that one of those five pending cases has now been determined not to have involved abuse or neglect. A second case remains under investigation, but not for abuse or neglect.
Still, the number of DCFS-involved abuse or neglect deaths could reach 30 for the third year in a row.
In the 2010 reporting year, there were 15 abuse or neglect deaths in which DCFS had had some involvement with the family within a year of the death, according to a Sun-Times and WBEZ investigation published in November.