Report: CPS left 3 children with troubled mother

October 3, 2009 6:23:18 PM PDT
Texas officials left three children in their mother's custody despite indications she had a troubled history, according to a newspaper analysis of a Child Protective Services affidavit. The Dallas Morning News reported Saturday that the agency decided in May that Keashia Dyon Matthews, 37, should maintain custody, even though she had been leaving the children home alone.

Matthews is now free on a $13,000 bond after she was charged with first-degree felony injury to a child in the Sept. 3 death of one of those children, her 17-month-old son. Arlington police say Matthews turned herself in Sept. 25 to face the charge in the death of Darrell Singleton III.

Police spokeswoman Tiara Richard has said Matthews told family and friends that she kept her son in her sport-utility vehicle while at work Sept. 3 and checked on him repeatedly during the day. She said she noticed nothing wrong until she left work. She picked up her two other children and went to the hospital. Doctors report the child had a 107-degree temperature. An autopsy was ordered.

Attempts by The Associated Press to find a telephone number for Matthews on Saturday evening weren't successful.

Matthews could face a life sentence if convicted. Her daughters are now in state custody.

The CPS affidavit obtained by the newspaper was filed with a Tarrant County court last month to support the agency's seizure of the little boy's two sisters in Arlington.

CPS records described Matthews as a "pathological liar" and said she could have an untreated mental illness. She lost custody of her first child when the girl was 16-months-old and found "unsupervised, severely malnourished, unkempt, drugged by Matthews to make her sleep, and with severe physical and medical needs."

After her second child was born, Matthews "stated that she hated the child and did not want to have anything to do with her. Matthews has on many occasions stated that she does not like children."

CPS records also said Matthews attempted to burn her mother's home, had attacked her mother with a knife and attacked her stepmother with a rake.

The first two children, born in the 1990s, long ago went to live with their grandmother in Michigan. CPS didn't seize Matthews' third and fourth children until after her fifth one died.

When asked why the agency did not remove all three children in May, spokesman Chris Van Deusen said in an e-mail, "I don't have a new answer."

"CPS believed that having day care would prevent the children from being left at home alone," he said, adding the agency was investigating how it handled the case.

"As generally happens when we see a case like this," Van Deusen said, "CPS regional leaders are reviewing the case from earlier this year to determine if there is anything that should have been done differently."

      QUICK HEADLINES | MORE TEXAS | GET NEWS ALERTS
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ABC13 SOCIAL NETWORKING
Find us on Facebook® | Follow us on Twitter | More social networking
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MORE FROM ABC13
ABC13 widget | Most popular stories | Street-level weather
ABC13 wireless | Slideshow archive | Help solve crimes
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Load Comments