LAS VEGAS — Documents released Wednesday in the beating death of a 7-year-old boy by Clark County Family Services reveal authorities received a report of abuse a day before Roderick “RJ” Arrington Jr. died.
The report is called a disclosure form and it’s a legal document released by the county any time there is a child death. While Child Protective Services and county officials won’t say anything about the report, his grandparents are frustrated he wasn’t taken out of the home before it was too late.
RJ’s grandfather, George Roach, said the heartache from losing his grandson is a pain beyond anything words can describe.
“It’s not anger toward the guy and his mother or whatever. “It’s the idea that he was taken from us from Bloomington (Ill.) and moved out there and he lost his life on some foolishness,” Roach said. “He wasn’t able to communicate with his grandparents and his father like we knew he was able to do.”
Clark County Family Services released a disclosure form showing the type of abuse and physical discipline RJ was receiving at home. The form doesn’t say who made the report or show that anything was done about the abuse.
The next day RJ was admitted to the hospital where he was declared brain dead and later died.
“They could have spared his life as it’s just hard for me to believe that this went on, and he was going back and forth to school and he didn’t say anything,” Roach said. “I believe RJ would have said somebody was doing something to him.”
While RJ’s family searches for answers, Children’s Advocacy Alliance in Nevada President Thom Reilly said more information needs to be released before placing blame. Reilly suspects the county is looking internally to figure out what happened.
“I think the first reaction is always to say, ‘OK, well something went wrong with Child Protective Services,’ and I think what we need to do is actually look at what type of information was there,” Reilly said. “Obviously one area that needs to be looked at is when that report came in there, they have certain amount of time by (state law) to actually go and respond to a case of abuse and neglect.”
The boy’s family said they wish more was done to save his life and hope the system sees that justice is done.
“He could still be alive today had they done due diligence about the whole thing,” Roach said.
County officials said the entire case is under investigation and they are working with Metro Police. Child advocates said in any case, it’s up to the community and faith leaders to speak up because someone’s life could depend on it.
RJ’s mother and stepfather, Dina and Markiece Palmer, were charged with murder and child abuse and are due back in court Thursday morning.
Source: 8 News Now