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Tucson Arizona: Child Protective Services lifts cone of silence inchildren's murder....
CPS lifts cone of silence in Tucson children's murder
Jul. 21, 2007 12:00 AM
Child Protective Services briefly lifted its cone of silence this week
and out slid an interesting scrap of information before the thing
clanged back into place:
CPS caseworkers were told that a judge had ordered a Tucson man not to
have contact with his children, yet they advised the father to keep the
kids anyway. When police showed up to take the children home, CPS told
the cops to leave them with their father, saying they would be "at risk"
with their mother.
CPS walked away from the family soon after - having found no proof that
the mother was neglecting her kids - and never again checked on Ariana
and Tyler Payne to see if they were OK with Daddy.
They weren't. Now the children are dead and the father and his
girlfriend are in jail, accused of murder.
This newspaper has filed a lawsuit seeking the records to determine what
CPS did - and didn't do - to protect the Payne children. For months, the
head of CPS, Ken Deibert, has refused to release any information, citing
a prosecutor's concern that it might jeopardize the investigation.
That jeopardy has apparently evaporated because CPS released a summary
of its dealings with the family this week, just days before Monday's
court hearing on the newspaper's lawsuit.
I don't know why CPS bothered. The summary doesn't answer any of the big
questions about what happened. Like what was so dangerous about the
mother that CPS wanted the father to keep the kids? And why didn't CPS
check into a judge's reasons for denying him custody? And why, when CPS
determined there wasn't enough evidence to find that the mother had
neglected her kids, did caseworkers just walk away, leaving a 4-year-old
and a 5-year-old in the arms of the man who would later be charged with
CPS seems to shrug off questions about its role in their deaths, saying
caseworkers didn't hand Chris Payne his kids and had no reason to
believe he would hurt them. "At no time," the summary says, "did CPS
award custody of the children to Mr. Payne nor does CPS have authority
to award custody."
No, they just told Payne to keep them, stopped police from taking them
and then walked away, leaving them to die.
According to court records, Jamie Hallam and Chris Payne divorced in
2003, with each accusing the other of using drugs and mistreating the
children. A judge awarded Hallam full custody of Tyler and Ariana,
citing Payne's history of domestic violence and alcohol and drug abuse.
Hallam told me that she didn't hear from Payne again until Christmas
2005. By then, she says, he had a girlfriend and wanted Tyler and Ariana
to get to know his new son. She said she let them visit, despite the
judge's order, thinking it would be good for the kids to see their
father. On Jan. 20, 2006, they went for a second visit. Hallam never saw
According to the CPS summary, CPS was at that time investigating a
report that Hallam was neglecting her kids. When the agency learned that
Payne had them in early February 2006, a caseworker contacted him and
told him he could petition the court for custody. "Mr. Payne was advised
that the mother was not cooperating with CPS services," the summary
says. "The CPS specialist suggested Mr. Payne contact CPS if the mother
attempted to take the children."
The father did file for custody, saying CPS had told him to file and
claiming that Hallam was unfit due to alleged drug use. No hearing was
Meanwhile, Hallam called CPS on Feb. 15, 2006, advising a worker that
she had sole custody due to domestic violence. While there's no
indication that CPS checked into it, a caseworker did visit the kids.
Once. "No indication of abuse or neglect was identified," the summary says.
Three weeks later, on March 9, 2006, police were dispatched to Payne's
apartment at Hallam's request, to retrieve the children but were told by
CPS to leave them. "The officer contacted the CPS supervisor and
information was shared about why the children would be at risk with
their mother," the summary says.
CPS closed the neglect case on Hallam in April 2006, calling it
"unsubstantiated." Caseworkers never again checked on the children.
Ariana's decomposing body was found earlier this year, stuffed in a
plastic tub left inside a storage locker. She had been beaten over a
period of time. Tyler's body was never found. Police believe they were
killed last summer.
Payne and his girlfriend, Reina Gonzales, are in jail, charged with
first-degree murder. Meanwhile, CPS officials have re-engaged their cone
of silence, holding on tight to the records that might explain why they
just walked away.
CURRENTLY CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES VIOLATES MORE CIVIL RIGHTS ON A
DAILY BASIS THEN ALL OTHER AGENCIES COMBINED INCLUDING THE NSA / CIA
CPS Does not protect children...
It is sickening how many children are subject to abuse, neglect and even
killed at the hands of Child Protective Services.
every parent should read this .pdf from
connecticut dcf watch...
Number of Cases per 100,000 children in the US
These numbers come from The National Center on
Child Abuse and Neglect in Washington. (NCCAN)
Recent numbers have increased significantly for CPS
*Perpetrators of Maltreatment*
Physical Abuse CPS 160, Parents 59
Sexual Abuse CPS 112, Parents 13
Neglect CPS 410, Parents 241
Medical Neglect CPS 14 Parents 12
Fatalities CPS 6.4, Parents 1.5
CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES, HAPPILY DESTROYING HUNDREDS OF INNOCENT
FAMILIES YEARLY NATIONWIDE AND COMING TO YOU'RE HOME SOON...
BE SURE TO FIND OUT WHERE YOUR CANDIDATES STANDS ON THE ISSUE OF
REFORMING OR ABOLISHING CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES ("MAKE YOUR CANDIDATES
TAKE A STAND ON THIS ISSUE.") THEN REMEMBER TO VOTE ACCORDINGLY IF THEY
ARE "FAMILY UNFRIENDLY" IN THE NEXT ELECTION...
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