Read the Flint Journal's story about the life and death of 9-year-old Shylae Thomas and then ask yourself a question.
What involvement did the state of Michigan have in the life and death of this little girl who died from medical neglect, malnutrition and dehydration and then was found dead stuffed in a storage unit?
Keep in mind that our state has a large and reasonably sophisticated child protection unit. We also have a state ombudsman charged with investigating troublesome cases especially those with a bad outcome like a death.
There are all kinds of questions that should be answered like:
- Had any complaints about potential abuse or neglect been made to the local department of social services?
- Had any child protection or other workers investigated her condition by visiting her and her home?
- Is the Michigan Office of Children's Ombudsman reviewing the state's involvement with her case?
- If they are will they make their findings and recommendations public?
What happened that allowed somebody so vulnerable to fall through the cracks of the safety net we are supposed to have for at-risk kids?
We all should be demanding and expecting answers.