SAN FRANCISCO — Social workers two years ago warned that a 3-year-old boy missing since Friday when he fell off his parents' boat into San Francisco Bay probably was being neglected, and tried to have the child taken away.
According to Marin County Juvenile Court records obtained by the San Francisco Examiner, some people complained to authorities that Brian Gilbert, 45, and Linda Poteet, 32, ferried their son about in a leaky skiff and that he wore no life jacket.
Henry Gilbert was "not grossly abused, but was at risk of child endangerment," the documents quoted Ed Oklan, a psychiatrist who examined the boy when he was briefly taken from the couple in July, 1985. Oklan recommended that Henry be put up for adoption.
Social workers both in Marin and San Francisco failed to have the child transferred to their permanent custody, despite court documents that indicated the mother was a drug abuser and suffered from mental illness.