2-year-old dies; death labeled suspicious

August 19, 2008 8:30:58 PM PDT
Police are investigating the suspicious death of a 2-year-old in the Rockaways Tuesday.Authorities say Jashya Brown was taken to the hospital Monday night after his mom, 20-year-old Sharee Brown, called 911 to report an unconscious child.

The boy was rushed to St. John's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The mother first told investigators that the child sustained injuries while wrestling with his 5-year-old brother. Then later, police say, she changed her story and said Jashya fell off his bike. Sources say detectives are not buying her story.

According to sources, ACS has an extensive history with the family. There have reportedly been 16 complaints, 10 of which have been substantiated.

Sources say that recently, the child was removed from the home and returned.

Sources also say that at one point earlier this year, all three of Brown's children were removed from the home. They say the 5-year-old was returned in February, a 1-year-old in April and Jashya in July.

ACS reportedly recommended to the court, with the consent of the law guardian, that the mother have her children returned. A law guardian represents children in contested custody cases.

The judge, however, took a more cautionary approach. Sources say ACS was told by the judge to monitor the family. It was to be a temporary return, only with the advice and consent of the law guardian and ACS.

The order was "intense supervision," and it was signed in February.

Before the order was signed and before she could get her kids back, sources say Sharee Brown had to complete courses in anger management and parenting skills, as well as counseling. She sucessfully completed them all, according to sources. Nonetheless, the judge took a precautionary view, ordering the supervisory view.

ACS issued the following statement:

Children's Services is investigating the tragic death of Jashya Brown and the facts surrounding it. Each year, thousands of children in foster care are reunited with their families, as was the case in this situation. A preliminary review of the records show that the family was seen by foster agency caseworkers as recently as August 13, and no problems were found. During 2008, the family was seen by both foster and preventive agencies more than 30 times. Children's Services is continuing its investigation of this case and is waiting to hear from the Medical Examiner regarding the cause of Jashya's death.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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