When a caseworker visited mom Brittany Hyc, they had a pleasant chat. The caseworker was from the Department of Children and Family Services in Illinois and wanted to make sure Hyc and her two small boys were doing all right. Because there had been repeated allegations of child abuse and neglect, it was important for the caseworker to remain on top of the case and make sure that the family was happy and healthy.
The caseworker then reported back to the Illinois DCFS that both 2-year-old Ja’hir Gibbons and his 5-year-old brother were doing well. But things took a turn for the worst just days later.
Ja’hir was brutally beaten to death two days after the DCFS visit. The next day the caseworker filed a report that said that the 5-year-old brother was at home in Chicago, but the 2-year-old was not even there. They had simply taken Hyc’s word that the baby was doing all right.
Since the horrible incident, the caseworker has been barred from having more contact with any family or any children. Their career is in jeopardy because they did not do a thorough or honest job. Cutting corners is never a good idea when it comes to working like this.
“Falsifying records will not be tolerated,” DCFS Interim Director Debra Dyer-Webster said in a statement. “DCFS will pursue all available discipline, including termination if records were falsified.”
It is also not known whether the caseworker was doing their job at all. Because there were so many allegations of abuse, you’d think that they’d have kept a much closer watch on the family that ended up killing the child. The little toddler was beaten so horribly that his liver was lacerated. He also had other injuries like hip fractures that were not recent. Meanwhile, the 5-year-old was covered in bruises.
“It’s very disturbing,’’ said Acting Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert, whose office represents abused and neglected children. “By definition, there are allegations that children are abused in their home and that warrants the highest level of care.’’
Because of the conflicting DCFS reports, Golbert is very concerned.
“It’s absolutely another huge red flag. This is beyond a red flag. … I mean it’s about the quality of work that this agency is doing.’’
Now both Hyc and her boyfriend Dejon Waters are facing felony charges. Waters, 21, faces first-degree murder charges and he got angry and hit the boy. He hit the boy with a rolled up t-shirt until the toddler “began foaming at the mouth.”
The medical examiner found an assortment of injuries on the little boy’s body.
“The medical examiner discovered fractures in various stages of healing to the ribs and a relatively new wrist fracture. There were numerous lacerations to the liver and a contusion to the lung. There were numerous bruises about the body in various stages of healing,” prosecutors said in court. “The ME noted that the injuries require significant blunt-force trauma.”
What do you make of this horrific case of child abuse resulting in death?