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Doctors Reveal Trouble Long Before Boy's Death
Updated May 5, 2013 12:11 AM | Filed under: WBIW News
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - The government's paper trail in the case of a 3-year-old Johnson County boy who police say drowned at his mother's hands in February reveals troubling details.

Deanna Dewberry, of WISH TV reports, police said Amanda Smith confessed to drowning her son , Jacob, 3, in the bathtub Feb. 27. 24-Hour News 8 has obtained the critical file from Child Protective Services that reveals the agency's action and inaction in the years before Jacob's death.

The file is more than a thousand pages, and much of it is troubling. The file indicates that in late March 2009, police records indicate Smith called officers, saying she and her boyfriend were "crackheads," and they needed someone to "take care of their 1-year-old."

Smith's mother, Wanda Smith, got custody of Jacob. The following months were chaotic. Amanda Smith was in and out jail. But Department of Child Services records indicate case managers were still trying to reunite Smith and her child, setting up a schedule of visits.

Meanwhile, doctors were closely following Jacob because he'd been diagnosed with a condition called "failure to thrive" - whereby children fail to grow for often unexplained reasons. A pediatrician wrote the then-2-year-old was only in the "3rd percentile for his age" - meaning 97 percent of children his age were more advanced in growth.

And he noted a troubling trend . While in foster care, Jacob gained weight weekly, and there were no reports of vomiting. But in his mother's care he vomited often and sometimes gained no weight.

The doctor concluded: "Jacob has shown that he is able to grow at a normal rate in the hospital setting and in foster care, but not in his mother's care."

Following another hospitalization, the DCS decided to place Jacob with foster parents April 1, 2010.

The next day, Jacob's parents, Smith and her boyfriend, Robert Crim, called police again. They told the responding officers they had been "smoking crack all day." When officers asked why, the report reads they told police "CPS took their child away from them and so they decided to go on a crack binge."

Meanwhile, DCS placed Jacob back in the home of his maternal grandmother. And a letter to DCS from a doctor at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health provides insight into the home situation.

The doctor writes: "Grandmother, who is the caretaker, seems overwhelmed with Jacob's needs."

He goes on to say: "We have been concerned that his growth issues may be environmental, and that he might grow better in a different setting with a consistent feeding schedule."

Nevertheless, Jacob's grandmother gained guardianship , and records indicate that in November 2010, DCS closed the case.

After her mother got guardianship, Amanda Smith later wrote Johnson County Judge Mark Loyd asking for unsupervised visitation. She got it. And it was during one of those visits that police say she killed her child.

Smith's attorneys have filed a motion indicating they plan to pursue an insanity defense in the case.



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