children's photo:NY Times
On February 24, 2008 the Nassau County Police Communication Bureau responded to a 911 call at around 8:55 am. When the 3rd Precinct officers responded to the address, a woman Leatrice Brewer (age 27)came to the door. Brewer led the officers to a back bedroom in the 2-story apartment, where they made a grisly discovery: the 3 young children of Leatrice Brewer lay dead on her bed, wearing their pajamas.
(photo courtesy: NY Times) (Leatrice Brewer in high school left,and an arrest photo from 2003,right)
Brewer was arrested and charged in the death of her children, Jewel Ward (6), Michael Demesyeux (5) and baby Innocent Demesyeux, just 18 months old. The prelim autopsy reports indicated the children were drowned, and that the 6-year-old was attacked with a knife. According to the police Child Protective Services had been in contact with the family, and had visited Brewer’s home as least 6 times in the last five years. One visit was as recent as February 22, 2008, which was less than 48 hours before the children were killed in their home. The Nassau police also revealed that they had been called to the Prospect Avenue home at least a dozen times, for 911 calls.
for 3 murdered siblings at their home (Ny Times)
Leatrice Brewer’s grandmother and the children’s fathers had tried to get custody of the children, but were not able to for unexplained reasons. Now an investigation has been ordered into how the agency (CPS) and the police handled the prior neglect allegations against Brewer. Investigation will include a review of the actions of the police department, and the Department of Social Services which includes Child Protective Services and the Juvenile Aid Bureau.” What this really means, is someone is getting ready to get fired over this, and they should be.
CPS has some big questions to answer over these children’s deaths…
Since 2001, the woman (Brewer) was in trouble with the law, everything from being convicted of harassment to unlawful possession of marijuana, and 3rd degree assault.
CPS was notified by relatives that the children were being left home alone, with the 6-year-old cleaning the home, doing bottle feedings, and changing diapers. That is clear neglect.
This mom was thought “unstable” by relatives and neighbors who saw her walking around the neighborhood pushing an empty baby stroller, they also called CPS when they found out the 6-year-old was being smacked around by her mother.
Someone at CPS should have removed the children also when Brewer told someone that the voices in the tv were talkingto her. But that did not happen, in fact her custody of the children was never in jeopardy because workers were fooled.
They (CPS) felt that just because the children “looked cleaned,well cared”-for and the home “was tidy”–that everything was ok. They couldn’t have been more wrong and now 3 innocent little children are dead. CPS fails BIG TIME, yet again, these kids didn’t have to die, this was clearly avoidable. You don’t leave kids in the custody of a mother who her own relatives describe as unstable, who routinely leaves her children unattended. Common sense, people simple common sense.
New York Post (Print Edtion) February 27, 2008