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JFS: 8 kids died of child abuse in 2021, 3 of which were known, open cases

Posted at 4:46 PM, Dec 30, 2021
and last updated 2022-01-03 16:50:51-05

CINCINNATI — WCPO 9 News has uncovered new information related to child abuse in Hamilton County.

In response to our public records request, Hamilton County Job and Family Services told us how many children have died this year due to child abuse, and, out of those, how many cases did JFS know about before the child died.

JFS Client Records Custodian Christopher Duckworth wrote, “There were eight child fatalities that were substantiated for abuse upon assessment, three of which were open cases at the time of death. Six additional child fatalities are still in the assessment process and their dispositions are pending. Two of those pending cases were open at the time of death.”

That could bring the total number of child fatalities related to abuse to 14. Five of the 14 were open cases. That means case workers knew about them before the child died.

We asked for this information Tuesday after reporting that prosecutors added a murder charge against two teen parents, Shakayla Sams and Donte Farrier, after their 5-month-old died in the hospital. Detectives said medical personnel discovered injuries on the child that occurred over the past several months.

WCPO 9 News has followed up with JFS, asking the names of the children killed to find out what, if anything, could have been done in each case to remove the children from harm’s way before it was too late. We have sent the latest numbers to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to ask his response as well.