Four-year-old Christopher Valdez was found brutally beaten to death on his birthday last Friday. His mother, Crystal Valdez, and her boyfriend, Cesar Ruiz, have been charged with murder for the little boy’s death.
But as further facts are unveiled, people may also be pointing fingers at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for possibly playing a role in the boy’s death.
That's because just a few months before Christopher Valdez's badly beaten body was found, his mother was arrested for child abuse for hitting the boy. In fact, Crystal Valdez was convicted of battery in October, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
As part of the criminal investigation over the earlier incident, the DCFS also looked into the abuse to determine if the boy was safe at home. But despite its investigation, the DCFS ultimately determined that there was "no credible evidence" of abuse and allowed the boy to remain in the home, reports the Sun-Times.
This was so despite the eventual criminal conviction of Crystal Valdez for the abuse. So if a criminal court, and its higher burden of proof, found that the mother beat the son, how did the DCFS, and its lower burden of proof, not make the same finding?
That's what everyone is asking and it has prompted the DCFS to perform its own in-house investigation of their investigation.
If it's discovered that case workers at the DCFS were grossly negligent in their original investigation by allowing Christoper Valdez to remain in the home, it's conceivable that the agency could be named in a wrongful death action.
- Find a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney (FindLaw)
- Mother and Boyfriend Charged After Boy Killed on Fourth Birthday (Fox News)
- Negligence (FindLaw)
- Suit over Chicago Police Shooting Death of West Humboldt Man (FindLaw's Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog)