Child Abuse | WGLT

Child Abuse

DCFS Reports 17% Decline In Child Death Cases

Feb 3, 2021
DCFS building
Capitol News Illinois file photo

Child welfare officials in Illinois reported a 17 percent decline in the number of child death cases they investigated during the previous fiscal year — an indicator, they say, of progress in addressing previous shortcomings.

Rica and Ann
Family Photo

When Ann Simmons last saw her daughter Rica Rountree alive on April 20, 2018, with obvious signs of abuse, she knew she had to change her life for the better if she was going to save her daughter’s life.

Cynthia and Rica
Police and Family Photos

The hastily concluded investigation by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services into black eyes and bruises on a child who died weeks later of abuse is laid out in state records recently filed in a McLean County murder case.

Ann speaks
Edith Brady-Lunny / WGLT

After almost two years of waiting, Ann Simmons delivered a message Thursday to the woman who killed her daughter, 8-year-old Rica Rountree.

Cynthia Baker denied Friday that she killed 8-year-old Rica Rountree, suggesting instead that the child’s father was a more likely source of the fatal blow that ended the child’s life.

UPDATED 6:20 p.m. | A man from Normal accused of causing second-degree burns to a 10-year-old child with severe disabilities claimed Friday the girl's injuries may have come from bathing by her in-home nurse.

The father of a murdered 8-year-old girl is now under arrest.

Keith Sommer speaks
Staff / WGLT

A Central Illinois lawmaker said he’s encouraged by first steps taken by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the its director’s pledge to “re-focus on safety.”

Rica and Ann
Family Photo

The doctor who performed Rica Rountree’s autopsy started by counting the scars on her body.

Glenn exterior with Hovey's mugshot
Google Maps, McLean County sheriff's department

On Friday police arrested a longtime first-grade teacher at Glenn Elementary School in Unit 5 for allegedly molesting female students. Unit 5 pulled the teacher, Jonathan Hovey, from class back in April when the district learned of a new allegation.

Children’s Home & Aid will host the 9th Annual “Taking Steps To End Child Abuse 5K Color Run”in memory of Duncan and Jack Leichtenberg of LeRoy, victims of the 2009 murder-suicide by their father after he failed to return them to their mother from a visit.