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Failed To Death

Failed to Death


72 of the 175 Colorado children who have died of child abuse over the past 5 years were known to human services. A 6-month investigation by 9NEWS and the Denver Post reveals how these children were Failed to Death by each and every person they had ever known. Reporters fought for access to public documents, police reports, and court records, along with gaining unprecedented access to every step of the process. What they uncovered is a system where accountability and transparency is nearly non-existent and caseworkers find it nearly impossible to assess which children will live and which will not. Click here for the details on each case.
FAILED TO DEATH STORIES

Mom sentenced to 36 years for death of son

9:17 PM, Aug 16, 2013

DENVER - Muriel Keer, the mom of now-deceased-10-month-old Aldrich Leathers, will be sentenced on Friday.

Grandmother charged in child's death sentenced to max

5:07 PM, Aug 2, 2013

DENVER - The woman convicted in the death of her 4-year-old grandson will be sentenced on Friday. This case was a part of the 9Wants to Know Failed to Death cases investigated previously.

'Failed to Death' case: Grandmother convicted

4:35 PM, Jun 7, 2013

BRIGHTON - Becky Trujillo - the woman whose grandson died in 2012 from a severe injury after a pattern of abuse - was found guilty of criminally negligent child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury and not guilty of first-degree murder in court Friday afternoon.

Deliberations for 'Failed to Death' case continues

10:30 PM, Jun 5, 2013

DENVER - The jury failed to reach a decision Wednesday over the case against Becky Trujillo on Wednesday. Deliberations will continue Thursday.

Opening statements begin in 'Failed to Death' case

5:10 PM, May 29, 2013

DENVER - The story of Gabriel Trujillo is a tough one to hear. His case prompted our Failed to Death investigation into the state's child welfare system.

Opening statements begin in child abuse expected

4:16 PM, May 28, 2013

BRIGHTON - Opening statements in case against a grandmother who allegedly forced her 4-year-old grandson to stand naked in the cold as punishment for long enough to kill him, are expected to begin Wednesday morning.

Judge: Human Services to blame for death

6:15 PM, Apr 11, 2013

ADAMS COUNTY - An Adams County Judge says the county's Social Services are to blame for the death of 22-month-old Michael Harris, who died February of 2011 from injuries inflicted by his mother's boyfriend.

Failed to Death Update: State aims to redesign training for caseworkers

7:44 PM, Mar 6, 2013

DENVER - Three months after a 9Wants to Know and Denver Post investigation into child welfare in Colorado, the state has announced a redesign of caseworker training. 

9WANTS TO KNOW SERIES: Failed To Death

2:14 PM, Nov 26, 2012

KUSA - 72 of the 175 Colorado children who have died of child abuse over the past 5 years were known to human services. A six-month investigation by 9NEWS and the Denver Post reveals how these children were Failed to Death by each and every person they had ever known.

State senator to ask for high-level meeting

2:53 PM, Nov 19, 2012

DENVER - The vice-chair of the state Senate's Health and Human Services Committee plans to request a meeting with Governor John Hickenlooper and DHS state director Reggie Bicha to discuss additional ways to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Progress made in preventing child abuse

2:35 PM, Nov 19, 2012

9NEWS, DAY 8 - The state Department of Human Services is making progress in its attempt to improve the child welfare system in Colorado.

Failed to Death: A tale of two outcomes

2:27 PM, Nov 19, 2012

9NEWS, DAY 4  - One of the most challenging obstacles caseworkers face when investigating neglect and abuse complaints is distrust from parents who fear children will immediately be removed from their home.

Failed to Death: When to remove children from home

2:24 PM, Nov 19, 2012

9NEWS, DAY 3 - Removing children from their home is always a last resort for county Department of Human Services, according to case workers interviewed by 9NEWS.

Failed to Death: No transparency, no accountability

2:21 PM, Nov 19, 2012

9NEWS, DAY 2 - Child welfare cases that end with the death of a child often lack transparency which enables social service workers and other agencies responsible for protecting children to escape accountability.

Mom needed help before setting kids on fire

2:18 PM, Nov 19, 2012

9NEWS, DAY 1 - The mother who poured gasoline on her five children, killing her 16-month old daughter told the 9Wants to Know investigators she blames herself, but says a child welfare caseworker and a crisis counselor could have done more.

CHILD PROFILES

Nicole Clark

3:24 PM, Oct 14, 2014

Nicole Clark and her mother spent their last hours eating McDonald's burritos and watching a movie in their Jeep Cherokee, parked in their garage in Lafayette.

Sailor Serenity Raine Kuhn

2:46 PM, Nov 19, 2012

In 2011, Sailor Serenity Raine Kuhn spent her first, and last, Halloween with her grandma while her teenage parents and their friends set out to "create havoc on the town" of Dolores, according to police reports.

Jeremiah Saunders

2:46 PM, Nov 19, 2012

Amee Espinoza remembers the little details about her son.

Owen Reak

2:45 PM, Nov 19, 2012

Owen Reak was 19 months old when he died April 11, allegedly after being hit in the abdomen so hard by his mother's boyfriend that his intestines were ruptured and he bled to death internally.

Joslyn Asberry

2:45 PM, Nov 19, 2012

Joslyn Asberry was wearing five barrettes the night she died - two pink, one white, one brown and one orange. For every barrette, the coroner found three scrapes, bruises or cuts on the 3-year-old's 28-pound body.

THE INVESTIGATION

BLOG: Who failed Michael Harris?

5:37 PM, May 2, 2013

KUSA - Prosecutors say it's one of the worst child abuse cases they've seen.

Judge: Human Services to blame for death

6:15 PM, Apr 11, 2013

ADAMS COUNTY - An Adams County Judge says the county's Social Services are to blame for the death of 22-month-old Michael Harris, who died February of 2011 from injuries inflicted by his mother's boyfriend.

Progress made in preventing child abuse

2:35 PM, Nov 19, 2012

9NEWS, DAY 8 - The state Department of Human Services is making progress in its attempt to improve the child welfare system in Colorado.

Seeking solutions to improve Colorado's child welfare system

2:33 PM, Nov 19, 2012

THE DENVER POST, DAY 8 - Methods to help protect children from abuse and neglect exist, but Colorado has lacked the funding or political will to implement many of them.

Failed to death: Journalists discuss the project

2:32 PM, Nov 19, 2012

9NEWS, DAY 7 - Over the past week, 9Wants To Know has shared important but very difficult stories about what is happening in Colorado's child welfare system.

FIGHTING CHILD ABUSE

Failed to Death: Victim's mother frustrated

6:32 PM, Jun 12, 2013

Failed to Death: Child welfare office defends itself against judge's tirade

9:51 PM, May 2, 2013

ADAMS COUNTY - For the first time, the boss of the child welfare office defends his department to 9Wants to Know after a judge publicly ripped into caseworkers and called for a grand jury investigation. 

Blog: Judge's tirade against child welfare caseworkers hits point

2:35 PM, Apr 11, 2013

State officials: case workers couldn't prevent boy's death

9:48 PM, Jan 4, 2013

KUSA- 3-year-old Caleb Pacheco died needlessly and far too young.

Failed to Death Denver Post Project Team

2:37 PM, Nov 19, 2012

9Wants to Know worked with many journalists at the Denver Post on the Failed to Death project.

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