~~~ I don’t mind telling you my opinion of this IDIOT REPORTER. The first 4 paragraphs make me sick to my stomach, because this is DISRESPECTING THIS CHILD.
To think that this perverted LEMMING SOCIETY reads this bloated plastic FOOL. And anyone who would waste their time even asking directions from DCS is obviously DUMB AS DIRT. If you believe what this clown is saying in these paragraphs, put your name right down below this post, and I will NOT ONLY DEBATE YOU, I WILL EDUCATE YOU!!!! ~~~
Her name was Alexandra and she would have been 4 years old on Saturday.
Would have been, perhaps, had she been born in different circumstances, to people who stocked their refrigerator with food rather than beer.
To people who saw her as a wonder rather than a whipping post.
Could have been, had those around her – people who had to have known what was going on — refused to stay silent.
To let her die.
Might have been, had she been born in a state where child-welfare workers are given the luxury of time to fully investigate each report of a child in desperate need of rescue.
To ask all the right questions and verify the answers.
When help finally did arrive last Saturday, Alexandra Velazco-Tercerro had already left this earth. Court records say she had bruises all over her body in various stages of healing, and a nearly inch-long forehead gash that exposed her skull. Her vagina and rectum showed signs of damage.
She weighed 15 pounds.
Her mother, Rosemary Velazco, who with her father was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder, told police that her husband has “an anger problem” and that both of them would whip the child with a belt.
Her father, Carlos Tercerro Cruz, told KTVK that his daughter’s injuries came from playing with her six-year-old brother. And her weight?
“She ate very little,”
“She ate very little,” said Cruz, who was here illegally and targeted for deportation in 2012 yet still here in 2015.
Alexandra was the size of a five month old when she died.
It’ll be up to those who knew this little girl to live with their decision not to come to her rescue.
As for the rest of us? We should be asking some hard questions about those who were apparently clueless about what was happening to this child.
Alexandra died while Department of Child Safety was watching – or rather, supposed to be watching.
First, the good news.
DCS initially sounded this week like its predecessor agency, the woeful Child Protective Services — leading the public early on to believe it had no current involvement with this family.
In fact, state law gives the agency license to cover its tracks – for now.In cases where a child dies or nearly dies due to abuse or neglect, Arizona law says DCS must release all records “involving the child and the current alleged abusive or neglectful parent, guardian or custodian.”
But the Arizona Legislature, in a rare show of sanity, changed the law this year to require release of all records “involving the child or the current alleged abusive or neglectful parents, guardian or custodian.”
That law, however, doesn’t take effect until July 3.
Despite that, DCS Director Greg McKay erred on the side of transparency within hours of Alexandra’s death becoming public and owned up to DCS’s involvement with this family. That’s key if we’re ever really to fix what ails this long-beleaguered agency.
Which leads me to the bad news.
McKay told me DCS workers removed an infant from the home last June, but had no idea that Alexandra or her older brother were living there. This, even though the agency removed Alexandra and her brother from the home in 2011 and returned them in 2012.
“We are trying to see what our department did during the dependency of this other child and if at any time we were aware of anything involving Alexandra,” McKay told me. “At this point in time, there no indication from what we’ve read that anyone ever saw Alexandra in this home.”
Well, did they look?
According to DCS records, Alexandra and her older brother were put into foster care in May 2011, after Alexandra was born exposed to amphetamines. The children were returned 10 months later, after the parents completed a drug abuse program, and the case was closed in July 2012.
In 2014, DCS made several visits to the home and in June removed an infant. McKay couldn’t tell me why the baby was taken but I’ll be asking again on July 3, when the law says he can.
“Our staff was in that home and took action to protect this infant child and the other children were not in that home at that time,” he told me.
McKay says DCS was told that Alexandra and her brother were living outside the country.
This, of course, prompts several questions.
Did DCS verify that two parents who previously had their children removed were telling the truth?
Did its workers make unscheduled visits, to see what was really going on vs. what the parents might have wanted them to see? Did they talk to neighbors? To extended family?
Did they look around the house?
Surprise police say the door to the bedroom where the children lived had a padlock that locked from the outside and a key that was out of reach of children. The room also had “a small paint can which appears to have been used as a toilet by the children.”
Or did they simply take the word of a couple who had every reason to lie, it now appears? You don’t waste away to the weight of an infant overnight, after all.
McKay says it’s too soon to know whether DCS could have done anything to save Alexandra.
“We are going to find out if there’s something that we should have done, could have done to change the outcome.”
Work quickly, Mr. McKay. Even now, the next Alexandra is out there, somewhere.
You might just be her only hope.