Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Child's mother saw signs - Idaho

Blogger note:
Many families caught up with CPS find that their children are being hurt or neglected in foster homes and in almost every case, when they report the situations to CPS, they are ignored or CPS downplays their concerns. This kind of problem can lead and has led to child deaths while in foster care. Many families will even bring this information up in court and sometimes to their state lawmakers and guess what? Those same people say they have complete faith in CPS. How can a family proctect their children in foster care when no one will hear them?

Daughter in foster care had bumps, scratches


COEUR d'ALENE - Samantha Richardson said she had three visits with her children in the two months they lived with foster parents in Post Falls in late 2008 and early 2009.

At each of those one-hour meetings, she said she saw changes, both physical and in behavior, in one of her three children, 2-year-old Karina J. Moore.

By early January 2009, Karina was in a coma in a Spokane hospital. Days after that, she was dead.

Now the foster parents, Amber M. Clark, 28, and Jeremy M. Clark, 36, have been indicted by a grand jury in Kootenai County, accused of felony injury to children, conspiracy to conceal evidence, and perjury. They were arrested and jailed, but then released on $25,000 bond.

"After three years, you're thinking these people might get off the hook," Richardson, 25, of Coeur d'Alene, said Monday.

She's eager to see the Clarks in front of a judge and jury, she said, and for an opportunity to take the witness stand and tell her side of the story.

Richardson had her three children taken from her in mid-November 2008 because she allegedly harmed her son, Shawn, who is 8 years old today. She said the alleged mistreatment turned out, upon investigation, to have been nothing more than an accident. She has had a fourth child, Saniyah, who is now 8 months old. She has custody of her children now.

In the first supervised visit at the end of November 2008, her daughter, Karina, had a big knot on her head, Richardson recalled.

The foster parents told state child protection employees that Karina had slipped and fallen on some ice. State employees then passed that story on to Richardson. She was concerned, but such a fall didn't sound unlikely.

But that wasn't all.

Karina's older brother Shawn told Richardson he didn't like it when the foster parents spanked Karina when she didn't put her clothes on herself.

"That was the very first thing he said to me in that visit," Richardson said.

State workers told Richardson that her son was exaggerating. "'Shawn is a liar,'" she said she was told.

Along with Karina and Shawn, Richardson had a third child, a daughter Aaliyah, who was a baby at the time, and also was living with the Clarks.

In the second visit, in early December, Karina had another knot on the side of her head, Richardson said.

This time the foster parents told child protection employees that Karina had run into another child and bumped her head. That message was forwarded on to Richardson.

"I didn't buy it," Richardson said. "I didn't buy it at all."

Karina's speech also had become "slurred" at this point.

"Her speech was gone," she said.

By the third visit, on Christmas Eve in 2008, Karina had black eyes and scratches on her face, Richardson said.

This time, she was told Karina hadn't gotten enough sleep lately, and had "raccoon eyes," and a dog had scratched her face, Richardson said.

She was concerned because Karina had been a healthy child and developing normally while in Richardson's care. That didn't seem to be the case while in foster care, she said.

"She never had anything wrong with her," she said.

Richardson, who got married in July 2009, but was a single mother at the time of Karina's death, said she complained about the changes she had seen in Karina. Karina's father lives in South Carolina.

Richardson went to both the state child protection employees and Karina's court appointed special advocate to voice her concerns.

However, the next time she saw Karina, the child was in a coma.

At 1 a.m. on Jan. 7, 2009, Richardson received a phone call from a restricted number.

A Post Falls police detective was on the line.

He told her, "'There has been a horrible accident, and Karina is being flown to Sacred Heart (Medical Center, in Spokane),'" she recalled the detective saying. "'We think you should get over there.'"

Richardson said, "My heart sank."

Too distraught to drive herself, Richardson got a ride to Spokane with her mother.

When Richardson reached the hospital, she was told by police that Karina had fallen down some carpeted stairs. Richardson couldn't be told anything else, as that was all police knew at that point, she said.

"Where were the baby gates?" she said.

Karina was lying on the hospital bed in a diaper and neck brace, she recalled.

"Her body was cold," Richardson said. "Her lips were purple."

Richardson was told by doctors that Karina had a very high sodium level and low body temperature.

"I still to this day have no idea why her sodium level was so high," Richardson said.

She has her theories about why the girl's body temperature was so low.

Indictment documents filed in Kootenai County court said the Clarks were responsible for "causing the child's body temperature to drop under 96 degrees or permitting the same to occur; or by withholding medical care" for her.

Richardson has had a tough three years.

She starts a new job on Wednesday.

She hasn't been able to work since Karina's death, because she doesn't want to let her children out of her sight, she said.

She has regular counseling for anxiety, she said.

"I have the worst anxiety when it comes to the kids," she said. Karina's death "has messed with me a lot."

She said both she and her family and the Post Falls police are "relieved" that a grand jury has indicted somebody for Karina's death.

She was told of the indictment by the Kootenai County prosecutor's office and Post Falls Police Chief Scot Haug.

"They worked so hard on this in the last three years," she said.

Source http://www.cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_80a14f3b-d324-57ec-8100-b1f4eca9f1ca.html

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