2 Yr Old Tests Positive For Meth Then Dies

State child welfare officials allowed a 2-year-old southern Indiana boy to remain in his mother’s custody after the child tested positive for methamphetamine, and the boy suffered a fatal blow to the head 17 days later, newspaper reports say.

Jalen Blake, who died June 28, is the latest child to die while under the oversight of the Indiana Department of Child Services, an agency that one critic charges needs more oversight.

DCS left Jalen with his mother, Vadney Blake, even after learning on June 6 he had tested positive for meth, the Washington Times-Herald and The Indianapolis Star reported. Court records showed DCS caseworker John W. Potts spoke with Blake on June 9 about the test results but did not remove Jalen from her custody.

Potts, one of the 800 new caseworkers hired as part of the reforms launched by Gov. Mitch Daniels, resigned from DCS on July 12, the Star reported Tuesday. A message seeking comment from Potts was left Tuesday at a home telephone number in Montgomery listed in that name.

DCS spokeswoman Susan Tielking said state confidentiality rules barred her from discussing specifics about the Blake case, but she said the agency was investigating the decision to leave Jalen in his mother’s care. Generally, the agency would remove a child who tests positive for meth or other illegal drugs, she said.

The meth showed up in a urine sample the boy gave May 30 at a doctor’s office. Police said the child was fatally injured around June 26, and he died from head injuries June 28 at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

A police affidavit said Blake admitted abusing Jalen and suspected a man she had begun seeing, Jeff Truelove, 40, of Jasper, might have abused the child, too. Truelove committed suicide July 14 at a cemetery near Loogootee after fleeing police officers , the Times-Herald reported.

Blake, 22, told investigators that she and Truelove had smoked meth together on several occasions in the presence of Jalen.

Blake was charged with neglect and conspiracy to make methamphetamine on July 16. She remained jailed Tuesday in Daviess County on $500,000 bond. A message seeking comment was left at the office of her defense attorney, Anthony D. Quinn of Jasper.

Dawn Robertson, a spokeswoman for Honk for Kids, a group that helps families dealing with DCS, said Jalen’s death reinforces the need for an independent ombudsman to oversee the state agency.

“This is what makes the public question what is going on with this agency. Too many children are not being protected,” Robertson said. “We need accountability, and we need it now.”

Two Indianapolis girls also have died while under DCS supervision within the past 10 months.

TaJanay Bailey, 3, died from a fatal beating Nov. 27, a week after an advocate filed a motion asking a judge to order the child’s removal from the care of her mother and the woman’s boyfriend. DCS officials cited communication problems, errors in judgment and a lack of urgency in the case.

Twelve-week-old Destiny Linden died April 29, five days after being found unconscious in a foster home. An advocate had raised concerns about the home’s safety for a month before Destiny was placed there. The cause of her death remains under investigation, but the coroner’s office said preliminary indications point to Destiny being placed in an unsafe sleeping position.


7 Responses to “2 Yr Old Tests Positive For Meth Then Dies”

  1. […] – bookmarked by 3 members originally found by mscandace00 on 2008-08-26 2 Yr Old Tests Positive For Meth Then Dies https://methman.wordpress.com/2008/08/06/2-yr-old-tests-positive-for-meth-then-dies/ – bookmarked […]

  2. jeff truelove is my father and i think its bs all the stuff you guys put on here.

  3. jeff truelove is my best friends father. i was wandering which idiot thought that the public should know what jeff done? Did u ever think bout the fact that he does have two girls and that this will always hang over them for the rest of their lives. you uneducated freaks should consider who you are hurting. obviously it has no affect on u but it certainly does on other ppl.

    • methman Says:

      Your “best friend” should consider herself lucky that she is alive! the only idiots are people who defend other bastard cowards like Jeff! I hope he burns in HELL!!

      • brad m. edwards Says:

        its a good thing jeffs not here that little bitvch id like to show him the traing I received in the military with a few of my added touches

  4. brad m. edwards Says:

    Jeff had everything to do with what that nutcase vadney did – belive everything you read jeff
    ‘s not here to defend him self I was around that summer

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