Chilling Details in Seth Ireland Death

Fresno, CA, USA Child protective services released the complete case file Tuesday and the paper trail of possible child abuse started 4 months before Seth Ireland's tragic death. The one inch thick report shows cps was contacted at least 6 times about possible child abuse against Seth Ireland and his 7-year old half brother, from August to December of 2008.

The caseworker wrote there is "possible physical & emotional abuse & neglect" in the home. Another report shows "the children had been allowed to use alcohol or other drugs."

On October 12th, a neighbor called C.P.S. and was quoted saying she "can hear fighting, and believes it may be physical. Also can hear yelling at children, kids are often heard yelling "stop" and is concerned the kids may be being abused."

Yet the case worker wrote "the allegations appeared to be unfounded and that the kids deny any abuse or neglect."

"Going back and looking forward I think there were red flags there that had we had some information it could have been helpful to us," said C.P.S. Director Cathi Huerta.

The most chilling details are in the December 29th report when a neighbor called C.P.S. to report that Seth had major head injuries, bruising all over his 10 year old body, and was in the trauma center.

Police said his mother's boyfriend, Lebaron Vaughn, beat and stomped on the little boy while his mother watched. It was at that point that C.P.S.'s assessment of Seth's safety risk in his own home went from none to severe.

But by then it was too late for Seth. He died a week later.

"It's the information you know, have available to you," said Huerta.

C.P.S. Director Cathi Huerta said Seth's social worker followed protocol. "My department has responsibility to ensure children are safe, and for me to say we did everything we could, I just can't humanly do that, I can't do it."

Fresno Police records show they were called to the Ireland home for various reasons 12 times between August and December. The chief said he's already making policy changes on how and when officers deal with Child Protective Services.


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