A family on DCFS radar for 19 years under investigation again after 3-year-old I'Kera Hill died of malnourishment
CHICAGO (CBS) -- Only on 2:
Three-year-old I'Kera Hill's family was investigated 10 times for close to 20 years. Ten siblings were removed from the home.
In the end, I'Kera would die from neglect. Her parents are now charged.
CBS 2's Chris Tye obtained documents that expose new questions about the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. I'Kera, of downstate Carbondale, is the nine kids on DCFS radar who've died since December.
I'Kera was known as "Peanut" to her family. That family has history with DCFS that goes back 19 years, according to documents obtained by CBS 2.
The documents reveal a family of 16 kids -- 11 girls, and five boys. The mother to all 16 and the father to several of them are behind bars, charged with child endangerment in I'Kera's death.
The report indicates, "DCFS never received any reports of allegations of abuse or neglect regarding I'Kera."
But since the department first visited the house in April of 2003, most, but not all, were reported to DCFS as either: "Children 1 and 2 were living in an environmentally neglectful setting," or, "Children 1 through 7 as alleged victims of child maltreatment."
I'Kera was not the first to die. Her sister Ka'Lisha Hill, known as "child 10" in the report died May 19, 2015. She was in foster care at the time of her death.
Years later, her sister, "child 15," was flagged as being at a risk for harm. But DCFS said, "The Assistant State's Attorney declined to file a petition for court-ordered supervision."
"It's really shocking that the remaining kids remained in this home in the last years until I'Kera was killed," said Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert
Golbert notes the family of 16, with 19 years of DCFS involvement, lived in and was investigated by authorities in three different downstate counties: Alexander, Jackson, and Massac.
He's concerned that investigators in county one may not have been fully read in on problems elsewhere.
"It makes me concerned whether the investigators with the most recent investigations knew about the all the investigations going back 19 years over three different counties," Golbert said.
CBS 2 reached out to state's attorneys downstate to find out if they were fully read in on the full history of the Hill family. They could not answer.
In a statement after I-Kera's death, the Illinois DCFS told CBS2:
The Department of Children and Family Services is deeply committed to protecting vulnerable children and strengthening families, and the loss of any child is tragic...In this case, the Department worked closely with various stakeholders, including the state's attorney's office. While DCFS had extensive history with this family and was involved in the lives of many of their children, there were no reports or investigations of I-Kera.