County reviews Children Services’ handling of 10-year-old who died after alleged abuse

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
County reviews Children Services' handling of Takonda Collins case

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Montgomery County officials announced Wednesday they are looking into how Children Services handled multiple reports of abuse and neglect they received over the years prior to 10-year-old Takoda Collins dying Dec. 13.

“At the direction of the county commissioners, I have launched an internal review into the involvement of Montgomery County Children Services with regard to Takoda Collins,” wrote County Administrator Michael Colbert in a public statement Wednesday.

“This review is separate from the ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by the Dayton Police Department, as well as any review process that is conducted by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.”

MORE: State lawmakers seek independent review of Dayton boy’s death

Records and interviews obtained by the Dayton Daily News suggest there were multiple reports to Children Services and Dayton police that Takoda was in danger before he died.

Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said in an interview this week that employees at Horace Mann Elementary contacted Children Services 15 times while Takoda was a student there from 2014 until he was removed by his father in 2018 for homeschooling.

“I was told that it was 15 different contacts in the time the child was there,” Lolli said.

After Takoda died Dec. 13, his father Al-Mutahan McLean was charged with endangering children, assault and rape. Police say he and two women who lived in the same house kept Takoda locked naked in an attic where he was abused emotionally and physically for years. Takoda died with numerous bruises and cuts on him.

The Dayton Daily News asked county officials last week if there was any sort of administrative review of Children Services’ handling of the case. County officials have declined to answer any questions about the case, citing the ongoing criminal investigation, but said they welcome review and oversight by regulatory agencies.

Dayton police also stated last week they are conducting an internal review of previous police contacts with Takoda and his father. Law enforcement records obtained by the Dayton Daily News show police responded to calls concerning Takoda three times since the beginning of 2018. Two of the calls included concerns the boy was suffering abuse.

MORE: Dayton teachers seek law to protect kids like Takoda Collins

Some state lawmakers have asked for an outside agency to conduct an independent review of how all the agencies handled the case.

County Commission President Judy Dodge said that the county cannot discuss confidential case information or the ongoing investigation surrounding Takoda’s death, but that commissioners on Jan. 2 ordered the review of Children Services’ handling of the case.

“We were all horrified and saddened by the death of Takoda Collins. No child should be subjected to the abuse and pain he suffered in his short life,” she said in a statement. “We are committed to seeing this process through and making any necessary changes to our operations to help prevent another senseless tragedy.”

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