The Houston Chronicle July 29, 2009 Wednesday 3 STAR R.O. E !T!


EATH O# A CH!$ Who %ailed to sa&e E''a( )irl, *, had her+es, ,ut C-S did not ta.e her into custody E//A0 A1ency de%ends actions
23$!"E0 2y TERR! $A")#OR SECT!O"0 A6 -1. 7 $E")TH0 890 :ords and -E))3 O4HARE, HO5STO" CHRO"!C$E

T:o :ee.s ,e%ore a se;ually a,used *<year<old S+rin1 1irl :ith a %ractured s.ull died in a Woodlands e'er1ency roo', Te;as Child -rotecti&e Ser&ices :as noti%ied the 1irl had a se;ually trans'itted disease, ,ut the a1ency did not ta.e her into custody ,ecause they had no other +hysical si1ns the 1irl :as in dan1er. The child4s o%%icial cause o% death has not yet ,een deter'ined ,y the Southeast Te;as #orensic Center in Conroe, ,ut details o% the +rior C-S a,use in&esti1ation and the 'issed chances to sa&e E''a Tho'+son4s li%e :ere +resented at a custody hearin1 Tuesday o&er the %ate o% the 1irl4s t:o si,lin1s. 2oth ha&e ,een re'o&ed %ro' the ho'e they shared :ith their 'other, A,i1ail Eli=a,eth 3oun1. E''a died June 2> at /e'orial Her'ann<The Woodlands Hos+ital a%ter she ,eca'e unconscious and sto++ed ,reathin1 as her 'other :as dri&in1 her to the e'er1ency roo'. Estella Ol1uin, C-S'an, said the child had a se&ered +ancreas, a s.ull %racture and ,ruisin1 at the ti'e o% her death. Outlinin1 the in?uiry C-S in&esti1ator @i',erly Clayton recounted ho: her o%%ice ,e1an in&esti1atin1 a co'+laint o% ne1lect and +ossi,le a,use in&ol&in1 E''a on June 8. The 1irl :as e;a'ined %or C-S ,y the child4s +ediatrician :ho %ound no si1ns o% se;ual intercourse. He did note to in&esti1ators that the child had a 702<de1ree %e&er and ,listers on her %in1ers, inside her 'outh and in her &a1inal area and that he ran a series o% tests. The child :as re%erred to Te;as Children4s Hos+ital %or a 'ore e;tensi&e e;a', and on June 77, the tests ca'e ,ac. +ositi&e %or 1enital her+es. Clayton said she con%ronted the child4s 'other a,out her dau1hter4s condition. AShe had no idea :here it ca'e %ro',A Clayton recalled, thou1h 3oun1, 33, is a re1istered nurse. A la:yer re+resentin1 the interests o% E''a4s B<year<old sister and 77<year<old hal%<sister, +ressed Clayton on :hy her+es :asn4t enou1h to re'o&e a child %ro' a ho'e, ,ut the C-S said her a1ency needed 'ore, a &eri%ication o% the a,use %ro' the 'other or the child. AThere :as no in%or'ation statin1 :here it ca'e %ro',A Clayton said o% the her+es. AWe did not ha&e enou1h in%or'ation that the child su%%ered a,use and ne1lect in that ho'e.A

2ecause 1enital her+es can ,e trans'itted throu1h other, nonse;ual 'ethods, C-S in&esti1ators cannot auto'atically re'o&e a child :ho tests +ositi&e %or it, a1ency o%%icials said. !n%ection can ,e s+read ,y touchin1 an o+en ,lister, then another +erson. 3oun1 had se+arated %ro' her hus,and, 2enCa'in Tho'+son, 33, and :as +roceedin1 :ith a di&orce. 2oth +arents said the child had no other contact :ith adults, e;ce+t 'ay,e at a local s:i''in1 +ool. When as.ed i% she had anythin1 to do :ith the death, 3oun1 said, Aa,solutely not.A Tho'+son said his :i%e told hi' that the ty+e o% her+es their dau1hter contracted had started out as a AchildhoodA &ersion and had so'eho: de&elo+ed into the se;ual disease adults contract. He also said his :i%e told hi' that their dau1hter could ha&e contracted the disease %ro' a toilet seat. The ni1ht o% her death, Harris County Sheri%%4s O%%ice ho'icide in&esti1ators :ere su''oned to the e'er1ency roo'. "o e;+lanation Ho'icide di&ision $t. Rol% "elson said the child had ,ruises and cuts on her ,ody. He said in&esti1ators did not recei&e ade?uate e;+lanations %or ho: the 1irl had ,een inCured. AEither there :ere no e;+lanations o%%ered, or the e;+lanations o%%ered %or the cause o% the inCuries :ere not +lausi,le,A "elson said Tuesday. So'e o% the inCuries also occurred ,e%ore the day the child died, "elson said. Ol1uin, the C-S'an, said that a se;ually trans'itted disease alone is not enou1h to +ut a *<year<old into +rotecti&e custody. She said E''a shoo. her head, AnoA :hen as.ed :hether anyone had touched her ina++ro+riately. AWe had a child :ithout an outcry,A Ol1uin said. AWe didn4t .no: a,out any +er+etrator.A Harris County Sheri%%4s !n&esti1ator A.J. @elly testi%ied Tuesday that he ,elie&ed Tho'+son, E''a4s %ather, had nothin1 to do :ith her death ,ut said 3oun1 and her ,oy%riend $ucas Coe, 2>, o% /a1nolia, ha&e not ,een ruled out as +ersons o% interest. Coe has ,een indicted %or inCury to another child, a ><year<old ,oy, in /ont1o'ery County. /o' is a D1i%ted4 nurse Te;as 2oard o% "ursin1 E;a'iners records sho: the child4s 'other has ,een licensed as a re1istered nurse since June 2007 and has no record o% any disci+linary actions. Her license is set to e;+ire Au1. 37. State ,oard o%%icials said their records sho: she :or.s in the in<+atient hos+ital %ield. A#ro' e&eryone4s accounts, relati&es and %riends, she4s a D1i%ted4 nurse < this is a ter' they use,A "elson said. The 'other called 977 at >030 +.'. :hile dri&in1 the 1irl to the hos+ital in The Woodlands. A%ter the child ,eca'e unconscious, the 'other called %or an a',ulance :hile at the intersection o% )oslin1 and West Ray%ord Road, "elson said. T:o 'otorists sto++ed to hel+ and %ound the child had sto++ed ,reathin1, so they +er%or'ed C-R until an a',ulance arri&ed, "elson said. The child :as +ronounced dead at the hos+ital.''

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful