A New York boy was tortured while Administration for Children’s Services missed signs the boy was at risk. New York City child welfare workers visited the residence of Myls Dobson, 4, on nine separate occasions, never realizing the boy’s father, Okee Wade, 37, had been imprisoned, according to a case review. The four-year-old died later after being extensively tortured, while in the custody of another person.
Wade, who has a criminal record that is quite extensive, was given custody of Dobson in August of 2012 with the condition that the Administration for Child Services monitored the child for a year and stayed in contact with the Wade’s parole officer.
Child services never contacted Wade’s parole officer and never discovered Wade was in jail due to his connection to a fraud case when they visited Wade’s apartment. When the caseworkers visited the child in his Brooklyn home, Wade’s roommate reported to the caseworkers that Wade was working, according to a report ordered Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Gladys Carrion, head of the Administration for Children’s Services or ACS, reported caseworkers were told the child’s father was at work and that’s why he was unavailable for ACS workers to meet with him.
Carrion and Mayor de Blasio held a press conference to discuss why a New York boy was tortured to death while ACS workers missed the signs the boy needed help. When asked by a reporter if the Administration for Children’s Services should have done something differently, Carrion replied, they should have.
The review showed ACS, the agency in charge of protecting the four-year-old, was remiss in reading the signs of abuse that put the boy at risk.
After Wade was incarcerated, his son was placed in the care of a Manhattan woman. According to the criminal complaint, the woman reported to investigators that she beat, starved and burned him. The child died on January 8, 2013.
Dobson was found on the bathroom floor in the Manhattan woman’s apartment in the Ritz Plaza, an opulent skyscraper in the Hell’s Kitchen area of New York. He was unresponsive and unconscious. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
In January 2011, Dobson’s mother, Ashlee Dobson, was accused of child abuse and ACS officials investigated the case. The recent investigation into the case found caseworkers did not discover that Wade had been incarcerated from Sept. 2012 to Feb. 2013, even after visiting the home. During this period of time, Wade had custody of Dobson and a family judge had ordered Administration for Children’s Services to watch the situation and the child’s welfare. Carrion stated the social workers reported Dobson appeared healthy and safe during their home visits.
Mayor De Blasio ordered all cases regarding court ordered supervision to be reviewed and stated custodial families now must have a family court judge’s approval prior to the dismissal of supervision.
The case review showed the ACS workers did not investigate the details of the abuse allegations nor did they pursue emergency removal of the boy from the residence.
On Thursday, Wade plead guilty in a New Jersey court to charges of racketeering relating to a bank fraud plan unconnected to the charges that landed him in jail when social workers visited the home in 2012.
The woman charged with the murder, Kryzie King, 27, was arraigned in connection with the death of Myls Dobson in a Manhattan court on Wednesday. She faces charges of first-degree reckless endangerment, first-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Prosecutors announced King is also under suspicion for murder and additional charges. ACS continues to review the report for reasons why a New York boy was tortured while signs of his abuse were missed.
By Deborah Baran