Step-grandmother alleges police didn't do enough to save grandson

8:49 AM, Feb 19, 2012   |    comments
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"He didn't even get a chance, he didn't get a chance at life," Trujillo said.

She says she called police and asked them to check on Gabriel the week before he died because she was convinced he was being abused.

"They refused to go out and check on him," Trujillo said.

The Commerce City Police Department responded to a call at Gabriel's house the day before Trujillo called them. The department says they're investigating the step grandmother's claims to see if they did everything right to protect Gabriel. They expect to have some answers next week.

9NEWS uncovered records that show police or protective services were contacted three times over five months. One of the reports is about a broken arm and bruises.

The question now is why would this little boy still be in that home.

Desmond Runyan, Executive Director of the Kempe Center- an organization that advocates for the prevention of child abuse says the greater issue may be the system. Many social workers are overwhelmed and have limited resources.

"When they're older it's harder to get concerned about bruises because they're climbing on jungle gyms. The salaries aren't great and we pile a lot of human miseries and large numbers of cases so it's really tough work," Runyan said.

Governor John Hickenlooper announced on Thursday that the child welfare system will be reformed after 43 children died while being involved in child welfare services in the last five years.

The next day Gabriel was gone. That number is now one higher.


(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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