DCFS releases report on previous contact with family of 2-year-old Ja'hir Gibbons, beaten to death

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has released a detailed report about their contact with the family of a 2-year-old boy that was found dead Monday.

Prosecutors said 2-year-old Ja'hir Gibbons was beaten to death Monday.

RELATED: Mother, boyfriend charged in death of boy, 2, in Washington Park

DCFS said Thursday night they are investigating whether a caseworker falsified records about a home visit just two days earlier.

Gibbons' father told ABC7 he called DCFS several times to report his son was being abused.

"I feel that they ignored the abuse and they allowed Ja'hir to go back in the home and now he is dead," Gibbons said.

DCFS released a statement saying that as part of initial review of Ja'hir's case, "DCFS learned that two separate and contradictory reports were submitted regarding this home visit" and have ordered an investigation into the caseworker responsible for it.

DCFS said they found two reports submitted in the case; one from the morning of March 17 that said both children were in the home on March 16 at 12:30 p.m., and the second from the morning of March 19, that said only one child, Josiah, was home on March 16 at 12:45 p.m.

DCFS said the caseworker was employed by a private agency called Omni.

In a report, DCFS said they had prior contact with the family concerning Ja'hir's two older half-siblings between 2010 and 2013, before the toddler was born. DCFS said in those three years they received four allegations of "inadequate supervision or risk of physical and environmental injury."

Upon investigation, DCFS said they found three allegations were unfounded and the fourth was appealed by the mother and later ruled unfounded by a judge.

The court granted DCFS temporary custody of Ja'hir's sister in October 2010 and oldest brother in June 2012. In both cases the children were not returned to their mother, the agency said.

DCFS said in May 2013 Ja'hir's other older brother was born and the agency was granted temporary custody. He was placed into a foster home, but in June of 2015 was returned to his mother, DCFS said. He remained in her care at the time of Ja'hir's death, the agency said.
That was their final contact with the family until November 2017.

"I truly, truly believe that they should be held responsible for this," Gibbons said.

The boy's mother 28-year-old Brittany Hyc, was charged with child endangerment and her boyfriend, 21-year-old Dejon Waters, was charged with first degree murder.

Reverend Charles Jackson said he knew the 2-year-old and his family and described the toddler as joyful and sweet.

"He was just so happy, just like any other child. Happy with so much excitement, so much joy to be around," Rev. Jackson said.

He said there's a lesson for parents in Ja'hir's death.

"This is time for other parents to wake up, to understand that you need to look out for your children at the same time if you not fit to be a full parent, it's okay. It's no denial to it look for the help," he said.

Ja'hir will be laid to rest at the Westgate Funeral Home, 616 Washington St., Waukegan, on Saturday. Family members are trying to figure out how to pay for the services for a 2-year-old boy they did not think they would be saying goodbye to.

For information on making a donation for Ja'hir 's funeral expenses, click here.
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