Monday, March 21, 2011

Mother's Law Suit Moves Forward: Son Still Missing

Jennifer Rodriguez lost custody of her two children after being charged with neglecting them.

Her two children were placed in foster care and were reportedly none too happy about it. Patrick and his sister who spoke only English were placed in the care of Librada Moran, "who did not speak English"

The boy became extremely upset with his circumstances, and started "trying to run away from the 'day' he came into foster care," the suit alleged.

The suit also reports that witnesses claimed that the boy had threatened "to commit suicide."

"It's clear that the child did not want to be there," Osuna said at a press conference last fall. "The child was extremely distraught - he wanted to get back to his mother, like a normal child."

Patrick Alford, Jr., disappeared on Jan. 22, 2010, after he slipped away while taking out the trash with his foster mom at her East New York home around 9 p.m.

The 4-foot-8, 65-pound 7-year-old boy was last seen on that winter night wearing a red T-shirt, blue jeans, black sneakers -- and no jacket. He has never been found.

Given the boy's unhappiness, the city and ACS should have taken additional measures to safeguard his well being, the suit charged. The child welfare agency also should have investigated claims that the foster home was poorly run and the boy neglected, the suit said.
Rodriguez made a Jan. 7 visit to see her son and daughter, Jailene, at a meeting supervised by ACS. Rodriguez claimed in the suit that her children appeared messy, her daughter had scratches on her face, and her son was so agitated that he began crying, begged to come home, and "was trying to break a window."

The judge ruled today that the city and ACS could not be held liable, but a new suit could be brought against individual agency employees who allegedly failed to follow procedures or were arguably derelict in their duties.

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