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4-Year-Old Bronx Boy Found in Squalor Dies

January 31, 2006|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — A 4-year-old boy found unconscious in a squalid Bronx apartment visited previously by police and social workers died Monday while the city's child welfare agency was still trying to explain another youngster's death three weeks ago.

Investigators were questioning 4-year-old Quachon Brown's mother and her boyfriend.

Late last year, caseworkers had visited the apartment where Quachon and his siblings lived and deemed it "to be in order," said John B. Mattingly, commissioner for the city's Administration for Children's Services.

The agency investigated the home based on a Nov. 15 complaint from the school of one of Quachon's siblings, who range in age from 5 months to 11 years, Mattingly said.

Also, police said they had gone to Quachon's home in June after neighbors reported that children had been left there alone. The mother said the children's grandmother had agreed to care for them so that she could go to Atlantic City, N.J.

On Monday, police found Quachon unconscious. The apartment was grimy, with a broken window, no heat and no food in the refrigerator. Quachon and four other children were found without clothes, sleeping in the same bedroom, police said. There was evidence that he had a fractured skull and damaged liver, a police official said.

The child welfare agency underwent a shake-up after the Jan. 11 death of 7-year-old Nixzmary Brown, who was allegedly tortured, abused and beaten by her stepfather. Reports of her suffering had been made to several agencies, including schools, police and child welfare.

Her death followed recent homicides of three other children known to the agency.

An internal review uncovered several lapses by caseworkers, including a failure to be more aggressive when they saw evidence of abuse, Mattingly said.

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