Drug War

State Seizes Two-Year-Old Child From Parents Because They Smoked Pot, Child Dies in Foster Care

Alex Hill spent time in two foster homes in Texas, second foster mother now charged with murder

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taken from her parents, killed in foster care
family photo

Another victim of the war on drugs. From KVUE in Texas:

[O]n Monday night, [Joshua] Hill's daughter Alexandria, or Alex as they liked to call her, was rushed to a Rockdale hospital with severe head injuries, then flown to Scott and White Children's Emergency Hospital in Temple and immediately placed on life support.

Alex was living with foster parents after DFPS removed her from her parent's home last November for "neglectful supervision."

Hill admits they were smoking pot when their daughter was asleep.

"We never hurt our daughter. She was never sick, she was never in the hospital, and she never had any issues until she went into state care."

Alex spent time at two foster homes. Her parents noticed bruises on her body and mold in her bag when they saw her while she was at the first home. Her father says he told Child Protective Services they'd have to put him in jail because he didn't want to return her to the foster home, and in January she was placed in a second home. Alex is now dead, and the foster mother was arrested after her description of what happened to Alex didn't match the injuries Alex sustained. The mother admitted to slamming the two-year-old girl's head and is charged with murder.

Statistics on child abuse in foster care are, perhaps unsurprisingly, hard to come by, but children in foster care may be up to 10 times more likely to die than children in the care of their own parents; one estimate places the number of children who die in foster care in the US every year at about 1540.

Update: KXAN provides more details, including some of the allegations the state apparently based its decision to seize the child on and the fact that the two-year-old was in the care of her grandparents when she was seized; the state determined her parents had "limited parenting skills." KXAN also reports something called "Residential Child Care Licensing" (the station does not identify what that is, but it appears to be a part of CPS) is now investigating the foster home and the service the state used to place Alex in that home.