When child services received a tip that something was wrong at the apartment where 24 year old Starkeisha Brown and her girlfriend resided with Brown's five year old boy, she agreed to come into the office to discuss the allegations. She even brought in two healthy children, to show child services that the children were fine and in good health. The problem was that the children she brought in where not her children, and the child DHS was concerned about, had received the tip about- was left with a complete stranger.
Starkeisha Brown had left the little 5 year old boy, telling a stranger to watch him because she'd be right back. The person, who has so far gone unnamed, started going to a few people in the neighborhood concerned about what to do with the little boy as he appeared hurt, and ill. Police were called and back in the child services building Brown and her girlfriend were failing to trick to officials into believing that the 4 year old boy and 6 year old girl they had brought in where Browns children- so they left them there and took off.
Police say that the abuse suffered by Brown's 5 year old boy was some of the worst abuse imaginable. It included having his hands burned on a stove top, being hung from a doorway by his his hands and wrists while being beaten with a some sort of cord, chain or other object, having his body burned with cigarettes, and being routinely denied food.
After their dash from child services, both Brown and her girlfriend were caught by police and charged. This isn't the first time Brown has had a run in with the law either,
The boy's mother served a total of two and a half years in prison for two separate convictions: one for felony robbery of an elderly woman in 2003 and later for petty theft, when she and another woman stole a bracelet and other items from a Macy's department store.
Most recently, Brown was incarcerated from March 2006 to January 2007. During that period, the boy was in the custody of relatives, authorities said.
Police said the bulk of the abuse appeared to begin when Brown was released on probation.
Neglia said that Brown's probation officer recently had a hard time locating her because she was not living at her listed address.
Children services officials, citing confidentiality rules, would not disclose why the boy was returned to his mother after she was released from prison and whether appropriate checks on the boy's welfare were made, given that she was on probation
No doubt, someone failed this child at some point- and not just those adults that were in direct care of him. To be five and have already experienced abuse worst than that average person even READS about- is just devastating to say the least.
Since reports of the abuse became public, dozens of people have called police and social service agencies looking for ways to help the boy, authorities said. One elderly woman called police to see if she could donate her most recent Social Security check, authorities said.
Those interested in contributing can contact Michael Wrice with the DCFS at 213-739-6202.