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Alcohol and drug abuse are factors in the placement of more than 75% of the children who are entering care.
Texas CPS News Archive
Texas News Coverage
HSB parents may face charges after child gun accident
A Horseshoe Bay couple may be charged with multiple charges after their three-year-old son shot himself by accident on Thursday, said Horseshoe Bay Police.
The three-year-old boy had sustained a gunshot would in the upper chest. Police were told that the child was transported by a neighbor to meet an ambulance on Thanksgiving Mountain Drive. He was then transported by Marble Falls EMS to Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin was immediately rushed into surgery where his right lung was removed. Police said on Friday he remained in critical condition.
September 20, 2013
$6 million rape lawsuit plagues Houston foster care agency
Houston lawyer, Troy J. Wilson, is currently leading the charges in a lawsuit seeking at least $3 million in actual damages and at least $3 million in exemplary damages by the end of a jury trial against Houston-based foster care agency, America's Angels.
The lawsuit, filed by a Fort Bend county couple, alleges that the couple's daughter was raped and sodomized while in Davis' care. According to the court documents, the under-age victim of the allegedly witnessed a male visitor at Davis' residence engaging in sexual acts with another under-aged child at Davis' residence. The child eventually ran away with another child from the home, but was caught and picked up by the alleged assailant. He took both minors to a hotel in West Houston where he had sex with both of them, according to the lawsuit. He then took them to meet four or five other men who proceeded to rape them, sodomizing them and throwing them out of the vehicle in the late evening, the lawsuit states. The minors were then rescued by members of the community and taken to a medical hospital and psychiatric facility for treatment.
September 18, 2013
Anna Toddler Dies After Found In Hot Car
The father of a two-year-old boy who died after being found in a hot car could face updated charges.Joshua Cartee is already being held in the Collin County jail, charged with injury to a child.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office on Wednesday had not yet released a cause of death for two-year-old Jordan Cartee. He was found unconscious Sept. 12 in a vehicle outside his home as temperatures were in the 90s. Jordan died Monday afternoon at a Dallas hospital.
September 18, 2013
Time to keep foster children out of harm's way
A federal judge has certified a class action lawsuit against the state's foster care system, once again casting state policy on at-risk children in an unflattering light. Texas has a poor track record when it comes to winning such cases in the courtroom.
In her Aug. 27 ruling, U.S. Judge Janis Jack, of Corpus Christi, granted class action status to a lawsuit that claims abused and neglected children are being harmed by the very system designed to protect them. In a written statement provided to the Houston Chronicle, the plaintiffs' attorneys said they will prove that "the state fails to monitor children's safety, putting them in understaffed group homes and unlicensed homes of relatives who are not given the same training or support as foster parents or inappropriately placing them in congregate care when they could be properly served in a more familylike setting. . . . These deficiencies lead to damaging consequences, including high rates of maltreatment, frequent and repeated moves between placements, and unnecessary separation of children from their siblings and communities."
September 10, 2013
Mom sues police and neighbor after she is arrested for letting her kids play outside
Allowing your kids to play on scooters outside the house on a quiet street seems innocent-and common-enough. But a Texas mom was arrested and spent the night in jail after a neighbor complained that the children were unsupervised.
The parent, Tammy Cooper, disputes the "humiliating" charge, saying she was watching the kids, ages 6 and 9, the whole time from a lawn chair. But police took the neighbor at her word, and a few hours after the call, arrested Cooper for child endangerment. Cooper told KPRC that the arresting officer told her, "We're here for you."
September 8, 2013
Clovis Man Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison For Using a Taser on Foster Children
Michael Vargas, 40, was sentenced to 16 years in the New Mexico Department of Corrections. On June 11, Michael Vargas was found guilty of 24 counts of child abuse, all third degree felonies.
His conviction results from an incident that occurred in 2010. Two small children reported to a social worker at their elementary school that they were being punished by their foster parents with a stun gun or taser. The children, who were in foster care of Michael Vargas, had at least 24 burn marks to their stomachs and arms. It was proven that the abuse occurred over a period of two months. The State argued that Vargas should spend at least 24 years in prison, one for each scar left on the victims. However, after a lengthy sentencing hearing, Judge Hartley ordered Vargas to serve the next 16 years in prison, and an additional 5 years of supervised probation and parole upon release from prison. The State proved that Vargas committed a serious, violent offense, which means that Vargas must serve at least 85% of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.
August 22, 2013
CASA receives Texas Gas Service grant funds
Grant funds from Texas Gas Service were recently presented to CASA of Palo Pinto and Parker Counties following a request from the local non-profit group. CASA provides trained volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children in the two counties.
"Earlier this year, we requested a grant from Texas Gas Service that would assist us with the purchase of a vehicle to be used in our volunteer recruitment and training efforts," said Barb Tucker, CASA of Palo Pinto and Parker Counties executive director. "In July, Texas Gas Service delivered a $5,000 check courtesy of their corporation's charitable foundation. We are very thankful to have received the grant."
August 18, 2013
Jailed Foster Mom May Face Capital Murder Indictment
Two weeks after a 2-year-old died while inside her Rockdale foster home, police say county prosecutors are planning to seek a capital murder indictment against the child's foster mom.
The child's foster mom, Sherill Small, 54, was arrested this month on a warrant charging murder and remained in the Milam County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond, jail records showed Wednesday.
August 14, 2013
Baby left at HFD station in northeast Houston
Authorities say a baby was left outside a Houston fire station this morning. he baby was found at about 10am inside the garage of Houston Fire Department Station #39 in the 5800 block of Pickfair in northeast Houston.
Firefighters say the crew heard the child crying and found him in a stroller. No one was seen leaving the baby. There was no note or identifying information with the infant.
August 12, 2013
Rockdale woman charged with murder in death of 2-year-old foster child
A Rockdale woman is in Milam County Jail facing a murder charge after her 2-year-old foster daughter died.
Sherill Small was arrested Thursday by Rockdale police after Alexandria Hill was taken off of life support at a Temple hospital a day earlier, said Lt. J.D. Newlin. Newlin is one of the Rockdale officers who investigated the case after Small called 911 because Alexandria wasn't breathing.
August 3, 2013
Father of foster child who died speaks to KVUE
The father of a 2-year old child killed while in foster care is speaking out about his last memories of his daughter. Rockdale police have charged his daughter's foster mom, Sherill Small with murder.
He never thought his visit with her Thursday, July 25 would be his last. "We got to sit down at McDonalds and have lunch and play for a while," said Round Rock resident Joshua Hill. "She got a little 'Despicable Me 2' toy in her happy meal and she loved it. She kept climbing up in my lap and she fed me french fries." But on Monday night, Hill's daughter Alexandria, or Alex as they liked to call her, was rushed to a Rockdale hospital with severe head injuries, then flown to Scott and White Children's Emergency Hospital in Temple and immediately placed on life support.
August 2, 2013
Couple Had Their 2-year-old Daughter Stolen from Them for "Smoking Pot." Then it Got Much Worse
Hill's two-year-old daughter Alex, short for Alexandria, was removed from her parent's home last November for "neglectful supervision" following her parents' admission that they smoked pot after she was put to bed.
She was killed shortly after being removed by CPS -- by her foster parents. "We never hurt our daughter. She was never sick, she was never in the hospital, and she never had any issues until she went into state care," Hill told KVUE. This is a truly heartbreaking example of the state's atrocious 'war on drugs.'
August 2, 2013
Missing Local Woman And Sons Found
A woman and her sons, ages 11 and 2-months, about whose safety officers were concerned because of the woman's state of mind when she left her North Waco residence, were found Thursday in a hotel in the Dallas area, police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.
The two children were in the custody of Child Protective Services and were OK, Swanton said. Lanette Missy-Lyn Farmer, 29, her 2- month-old son, Jordon Matthew Farmer and her 11-year-old son Jayden Rivera, left home at around 3 p.m. Wednesday and were later seen at a storage facility in the 2600 block of McKenzie Avenue.
July 19, 2013
Three arrested in meth lab bust in west Abilene; baby taken by CPS
aylor County Sheriff's investigators arrested three people suspected of running a meth lab in the 800 block of South Willis Street, according to a statement released Wednesday by the Taylor County Sheriff's Office.
As a result of the arrests, an 18-day-old infant was also put into Child Protective Services custody. At 4 p.m. Tuesday, investigators received complaints of an unpleasant smell emanating from a home in the area. "Officers could smell the strong of odor of methamphetamine components as they approached the residence," the statement said.
July 17, 2013
Authorities: Girl's death hidden for year by mom
A Houston-area woman kept her 3-year-old daughter's death hidden for a year and threw off child services workers by giving conflicting stories about the girl's whereabouts, including that she was living with her father in Mexico, authorities said Monday.
Investigators believe Lee-onna Ramirez died sometime last year after her mother, Sabrina Maria Deleon, failed to get her medical help when the girl had a seizure in their home. After the girl died, Deleon wrapped her body in a blanket and threw her away in the trash, authorities contend.
July 1, 2013
Nacogdoches Fire Dept., CPS urge child safety during summer heat
The summer heat can be dangerous to anyone and children are no exception. Every year tragic cases of children being left in cars and dying from heat exhaustion are reported.
As the temperature rises, so does the risk of heat related deaths for children left in cars. To see how fast the temperature can change, the Nacogdoches Fire Department and CPS put on a demonstration Monday afternoon.
June 25, 2013
Midland mom allegedly gives daughter black eye
A Midland woman was arrested Friday for pushing and hitting her 5-year-old daughter in the face and spanking her daughter with a flip-flop sandal, according to an arrest affidavit.
Jennifer Kay Contreras, 25, was being held on a $25,000 bond for a state felony charge of reckless injury to a child. She posted bond and was released on Friday. Child Protective Services responded to the child abuse call on June 5 and made contact with the daughter, who had a black eye.
June 25, 2013
Mom arrested after kids are left in motel room
Rosenberg police arrested a mother accused of leaving several small children alone in a motel room.
The four children, who are between 6 months and 9 years old, were left unattended Monday in a room at a Rosenberg motel along the 4800 block of Avenue H., officials said.
June 25, 2013
CPS Takes 10 Children From Texas Home, But Who Are They?
Texas Child Protective Services officials are trying to identify 10 children who were taken from a home in an upscale neighborhood in Laredo.
The agency removed the children from the home of Elsa Cuellar Alvarado in May citing unsafe conditions, but since then, they have been unable to identify the children aged five to 17. Authorities say the children believe Cuellar Alvarado is their biological mother, and have lived with her since infancy but authorities say the children do not appear to be related to one another or to Cuellar Alvarado.
June 15, 2013
Dallas toddler doted on newborn sister before he was beaten to death, prosecutor says
Trey Jenkins learned about love in his short 18 months of life. He found it as he doted on his newborn sister, who he loved to pull into his lap and feed her bottle.
Alex Roberston is on trial for capital murder and faces an automatic life sentence if convicted in Trey's beating death near Love Field in July. Trey was so badly beaten from behind, Kelly and fellow prosecutor Carmen White told jurors, that his kidneys "flew to the front of his body." His adrenal glands were destroyed, his liver lacerated, his lungs collapsed and he had broken bones. The blow or blows caused feces to shoot "everywhere," Kelly said.
June 4, 2013
Local Man Charged With Severely Injuring A Child
A Waco man was being held Tuesday in the McLennan County Jail after police say he caused life-threatening injury to a 5-month-old child.
Christopher Clifton Franks, 23, was ordered held on a $500,000 bond charged with injury to a child. Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said police investigators were contacted by Child Protective Services back on Dec. 19 in connection with an incident that happened Dec. 17 at a residence in the 400 block of Owen Lane.
June 4, 2013
22-mont-old child found home alone in Kirbyville
A spokesperson for the Jasper County Sheriff's Office told 12News that deputies are working to find out why a baby was left alone inside a home located on County Road 421 in Kirbyville.
Sheriff Mitchel Newman said that on Saturday morning dispatchers received a call about a baby being left inside a home alone. Lt. Kenneth Stanley and Kirbyville Police Officer Hancock went to the house. They said no one would come to the door, so they walked around the home looking in windows. They said they saw a 22-month-old baby girl inside a bedroom.
May 20, 2013
Prosecutors accuse Houston mom of 'flogging' adopted daughters from Nigeria
HOUSTON - A Houston mom is being accused by prosecutors of severely "flogging" her two Nigerian adopted daughters last month.
Authorities say a daycare worker first noticed injuries on the 3-year-old girl. Investigators say both she and her 4-year-old sister had multiple bruises and scars over their entire bodies.
April 23, 2013
Relatives located day after toddler was found alone at flea market
Child welfare advocates want to know why it took almost a full day before family members of a toddler left at a Houston flea market finally came forward.
The 17-month-old was placed with his grandparents Monday evening, several hours after Child Protective Services sought the public's help to identify the boy who was spotted about 5:30 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot at Trader's Village Flea Market, 7979 Eldridge Parkway.
April 22, 2013
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