Wharton Co. 2-year-old suffered abuse from first days of life to the day he died, report reads

Jessica Willey Image
Wednesday, August 31, 2022
2-year-old Wharton Co. boy's abuse began days after birth, report says
Daniel Escamia's CPS fatality report reveals multiple abuse and neglect reports throughout the 2-year-old Wharton County boy's short life.

WHARTON COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A 2-year-old Wharton County boy endured repeated abuse throughout his short life, from his first days after birth to the day he died, a report revealed.

Eyewitness News obtained Daniel Escamia's fatality report on Tuesday, more than three months after he succumbed to extensive injury and trauma to the head, as explained in his autopsy.

Little Daniel's mother, Rebecca Hart, is charged with capital murder while the boy's father, Eddie Escamia, is charged with child endangerment with bodily injury.

SEE MORE: 2-year-old Daniel Escamia's mom gets $1 million bond set for Wharton Co. capital murder charge

Little Daniel Escamia's mother is charged with capital murder in the 2-year-old's death. His father faces a child endangerment count.

According to the Department of Family and Protective Services' child fatality report, Daniel's young life was dotted with abuse and neglect investigations, with the first one coming right after he was born.

The department confirmed a March 13, 2020 allegation of neglect after the baby tested positive for drugs.

A year later, in March and April 2021, allegations of physical abuse and neglect were reported. They were neither substantiated nor disproven, but on April 27, 2022, the risk assessment for Daniel and his two siblings was high.

Two weeks later, on May 9, he would be dead.

Caroline Roberts, the senior staff attorney for the child advocacy group Children at Risk, noted the CPS system is facing challenges, but those shouldn't have kept them from closely looking into the Escamias.

"They are understaffed and underfunded and need more support. With that said, with that high priority, you would want more attention and support provided to these children," Roberts said.

According to the report, on the day of his death, Daniel had unexplained injuries all over his body. The department confirmed that he had not been fed and was forced to sleep in a closet by himself in his filthy home near El Campo. His brother and sister were removed.

Previously, the parents were given family-based safety services. The two people who were supposed to protect him did not, investigators say.

Roberts urges any adult who suspects abuse to keep reporting.

You can report abuse, neglect or exploitation incidents through the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services website.

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