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Could DCFS Have Done More To Save 12-Year-Old?

By Margaret Lyons in News on Jul 23, 2008 5:19PM

Kevin Johnson, 12, died this weekend, and police are investigating whether his death was a result of abuse.

Doctors said he suffered bleeding on both sides of his brain and had several old and new wounds, including burns, ligature marks on his wrists, fractured ribs and a broken thumb, the Department of Children and Family Services investigator said in court.

Kevin's guardians [Fred and Barbara Johnson] forced the children to punish each other, and sometimes restrained them in the basement, DCFS officials testified. Kevin, a special-needs child, was forced to wear a weighted helmet, they said.

No charges have been filed yet, as police wait for results of Kevin's autopsy. The eight other children in the house, five of whom are Fred and Barbara's biological children, were placed in protective custody, and some were suffering from apparent abuse, including malnutrition. DCFS was already investigating allegations of abuse within the house, and the police had visited the home twice in 2007. [S-T, Trib]