The state agency in charge of protecting children was contacted eight times about Evan Brewer in 13 months.
The Department for Children and Families records provided to The Eagle are heavily redacted and appear incomplete, but do provide some insight into how the state responded to the reports of abuse.
Here is a summary of the reports made to DCF and its response:
July 21, 2016 – A caller says that Evan, then 2, was last seen on May 3, 2016, at a wedding. The caller said Evan’s mother was using methamphetamine and would blow marijuana smoke in the boy’s face to calm him. The report was unsubstantiated after a home visit. The case was closed on Aug. 25, 2016.
March 20, 2017 – A caller reports bruising on Evan’s face. The caller says there is a history of domestic violence and that the mother uses meth. The mother told a social worker that Evan fell off of a bike. A social worker saw Evan on April 5, 2017, and said he appeared healthy and clean. A social worker was unable to locate the family on subsequent home visits. The case was closed May 2, 2017.
March 21, 2017 - Another person called to report Evan’s nose was injured. The report was not investigated because it was similar to the report on March 20, 2017.
April 22, 2017 - A caller says there is a lot of physical abuse in the home and reports the following: (Name redacted) has been dragging the mother across the home by her hair. The mother is not trying to protect the child. The child hit his “hand” on bathtub, knocking him out. The child had no pulse and had to be brought back to life. (Name redacted) “has also made comments about take life from them and bringing them back.” It is not clear whether this was investigated.
May 4, 2017 - Caller said that (name redacted) had choked Evan and used CPR to revive him. The caller reported the following: That the child is afraid of an adult and appears to be asleep so he will not be hurt. An assessment notes that there is no likelihood of serious physical harm and that the child is safe. The records provided do not show how that determination was made.
It appears the state considered closing the case because it was unable to locate the family. A handwritten timeline shows that DCF contacted law enforcement for help in locating the family on June 19. A detective with the Exploited and Missing Child Unit was contacted on June 23. After Evan’s body was found, a note was added to the May 4 file saying that the state did not close the case and that the Exploited and Missing Child Unit had been contacted “as concerns regarding the child were very serious and no contact had been made with the family.”
May 14, 2017 - Someone called again to report that the mother was using meth and that Evan was having accidents because he was afraid to walk past the adults’ bedroom to go to the bathroom. The mother’s boyfriend had pulled her through the house by her hair, the caller reported. (Name redacted) had bragged to someone that “he has taken them to the brink of death and brought them back using CPR.”
A DCF worker wrote that there was no evidence of bruises, marks, neglect or that the child was scared of the adults. The file indicates that no action was taken.
After Evan’s body was found, additional information was added to the May 14 file. It stated that the May 14 allegations were not investigated because they were similar to the report on May 4, 2017, and earlier reports. It also states that neither the regional social worker, social worker supervisor or program administrator “had knowledge of the additional allegations.”
Aug. 3, 2017 - A cryptic handwritten note indicates that a new event occurred, but had not yet been assigned for investigation. No further details were provided.
Aug. 31, 2017 - A caller says that the mother has been arrested and that the father was awarded custody. The caller reported the following: That the child is made to stand in the corner for hours. An adult in the home has anger issues. (Name redacted) had hit the boy, knocking his head against the bathtub in February, leaving him unconscious. The boy was not taken to a doctor.
The DCF file says the mother admitted the abuse while in jail and refused to disclose where Evan was.
Sept. 2, 2017 - Evan’s body is found in a makeshift concrete coffin.