WICHITA, Kan. – Multiple opportunities were missed to save a 3-year-old Wichita boy before he was found encased in concrete, a former Kansas welfare officials said.
Dianne Keech, the Department of Children and Families, deputy director from 2013 to 2015, said the “point of no return” was when the office failed to call 911 this past April after receiving a report that Evan Brewer had hit his head while taking a bath and “had no pulse” before it is revived, The Wichita Eagle reported.
The person who the report said Evan and his mom, Miranda Miller, of domestic violence victims and that someone would “take the life of them” for “bring them back.” His mother’s live-in boyfriend, Stephen Bodine, allegedly bragged about choking Evan and his mother and strangled the boy until he was unconscious, according to the data Keech reviewed after they were released earlier this month.
Keech said that instead of calling 911, and the highlight of the report for the administrators as a “critical incident”, was put on hold for six days. The case was closed April 28, records show. Evan’s body was found in September, and Miller and Bodine are charged with the murder.
“If they don’t do the right thing there,” Keech said, “it seals his doom. They never recovered from that moment.”
Evan is the paternal grandson of the former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, a Democratic candidate for the governorship of this year. Evan was the subject of a custody battle for the months between his mother and father, Carlo Brouwer, who had contacted state officials and the local police about the welfare of his son. Too often, DCF took the word of the 3-year-old mother that he was OK, said Keech, who are in the state Child Death Review Board during a part of her DCF job and now works as a child protection consultant.
Keech counted six separate reports of abuse of the agency received from July 21, 2016, to May 14, 2017, before Evan’s death. Her analysis shows the agency failed to adequately address all safety and risk considerations, with five of the six reports. She also found that the DCF failed to collect all relevant information, in at least four of the six reports.
“This is not the Monday-morning quarterbacking,” Keech said. “This is how things should be handled in the moment. I’m viewing this case based on the investigation procedures that used to be the standard for the office.”
Shayla Johnston, a Brewer family spokeswoman and attorney, agrees with Keech that DCF has failed. With everyone who looks at Evan’s case, Johnston said: “can you agree that the bureaucracy killed Evan.”
DCF spokeswoman Theresa Freed said the agency could not comment on the case.
“Given the Brewery of the family stated desire to pursue legal action against the Kansas Department for Children and Families, we are not in a position to each point is claimed,” she said in an e-mail.
Information from: The Wichita (Kansas) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com