9-year-old Boy malnourished and physically abused

Lafayette Child Abuse Police Report: School Called DFACS 13 Times

Lafayette, Tennessee – A Lafayette woman and her son are facing charges of accused of physically abusing a nine-year-old boy.
Police say the boy’s school reached out to them for help after more than a dozen reports to Child Family Services.

Most 9-year-old boys spend their time going to school and making friends. But police say the boy living at the Pledger Parkway home, was only worried about when he would get his next meal.

“Another child that lived in the house with the victim had confided in a school official that he often times ate out of the leftover bowl or the trash because he was deprived of food,” said Captain Stacy Meeks with the Lafayette Police Department.

Police say they were contacted by the boy’s school guidance counselor earlier this year.

“They had multiple complaints on this child. There was a great concern the school had over the child’s safety and well being,” said Captain Meeks.

But that was after the report says, the school tried contacting DFACS thirteen times before since October of 2014.

“When we brought him into the police department, officers were giving him food and he was eating. He was very hungry and would kept asking for more food while he was there with us,” said Captain Meeks.

Police say when they got to the home, they found Shirley Chandler and Richard Voiveich. Along with them, nine other children living in the home. Four of them related to the family and police say, Chandler served as legal guardian to the other five children. The report says when they got there, they found the 9-year-old with multiple bruises to his back, head and face. The officer also wrote, the boy appeared malnourished.

“I think that just people thought the living situation was a bit peculiar but other than that, I don’t think anyone seen anything,” said neighbor Sandy Kilborne.

Neighbors are shocked by the news and are left wondering, did DFACS investigate the more than a dozen claims that were going on right across the street.

“It was the state that kind of fell through that so I am scared for other children around here in that same situation,” said Kilgorne.

NewsChannel9 has learned Shirley Chandler filed for custody of the 9-year-old in June of 2013.

DFACS Communications Director Sharon Boatwright sent over a statement to NewsChannel9. It reads, “I’m not able to confirm an investigation; however, I can say€“ again in general- that a report from a mandated reporter is given the highest priority. In most cases we would begin an investigation based on the information shared by the mandated reporter and then factor in any additional information shared by the mandated reporter (i.e. additional reports filed) while we are working with the family based on the initial report. This additional information would be included and used in making decisions about the case. “

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