DCF Visited Dead 8-Year-Old's Home 4 Times, Found No Abuse

Child died of severe malnutrition and an untreated leg fracture.

By Samantha Henry
|  Wednesday, May 25, 2011  |  Updated 10:38 AM EDT
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State child welfare officials determined allegations of child abuse to be unfounded on four separate visits to a New Jersey home where a child was found dead over the weekend from severe malnutrition and an untreated leg fracture.

Eight-year-old Christina Glenn was pronounced dead at the scene by medics who responded with police Sunday afternoon to a report of a child not breathing.

An autopsy showed she died from severe malnutrition and a fractured femur that had not been treated or attended to. Her mother, 30-year-old Venette Ovilde, a Haitian national from Irvington, has been charged with aggravated manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child.

Ovilde's roommate, Myriam Janvier, 23, also originally from Haiti, has been charged with child endangerment. Prosecutors did not know if the women have retained lawyers yet for a first court appearance scheduled for next week.

Glenn's 7-year-old sister and 6-year-old brother were removed from the home and hospitalized because they suffered from malnutrition and other injuries, authorities said.

The children remained hospitalized Tuesday. A report on the case from the New Jersey Department of Children and Families shows the agency was first contacted in March 2006 on an allegation that Glenn's mother neglected her.

A month later, they investigated a complaint that the child's mother physically abused her.

Both incidents were determined by workers to be unfounded, but the case remained open for supervision and service until March 2007. In January 2008, the agency received a new complaint that the mother had beaten her child after the girl wet her bed.

An investigation determined the allegation to be unfounded. And in April 2008, allegations that the mother physically abused her three children and left them unattended were also determined by child welfare authorities to be unfounded. The case was closed on May 1, 2008.

Agency spokeswoman Lauren Kidd said the Department of Children and Families was conducting "a thorough investigation of our history with the family and these incidents, as we do with all child deaths."

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