Child involved with DCF dies after being found unresponsive

Child involved with DCF dies after being found unresponsive

YARMOUTH, Mass. ( -- A 23-month-old child involved with the Department of Children and Families died Thursday after he was found unresponsive in West Yarmouth.

Police responded to a home at 320 Winslow Grey Road in Yarmouth at about 8:20 a.m. for reports of an unresponsive child. Emergency responders administered CPR on the boy, who was transported to Cape Cod Hospital. He was later pronounced deceased.

A neighbor saw the whole thing happen.

"Arms were hanging, the legs were hanging," a woman who lives on Winslow Grey Road said. She went on to say, "All of a sudden there was about eight, 10 cruisers surrounding the area, and I didn't know what was going on and then the ambulances showed up and the paramedics ran into the house."

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Yarmouth police told FOX 25 the child was in DCF custody. According to Michael O'Keefe, the Cape and Islands District Attorney, the boy had a number of pre-existing medical conditions.

DCF got involved with the boy at birth because both of his parents had substance abuse issues, O'Keefe said. The toddler, currently cared for by a couple who were not his birth parents, was being seen by a social services agency on Cape Cod that deals with developmental delays, according to O'Keefe.

The most recent visit the agency made to the home was on Monday, where he was deemed to be "well."

He was also seen by another agency, O'Keefe said, that deals with emotional issues.

A preliminary investigation into the death did not disclose any "significant trauma" to the boy's body, O'Keefe said.

DCF released the following statement Thursday afternoon: "The Department of Children and Families is deeply saddened by the loss of this young child. The child had briefly been in a DCF foster home but was removed from that home by a judge last year. DCF opposed removing the child from the foster home. The judge instead placed the child in the custody of relatives. DCF continued to provide supportive services to the family after the relatives took custody."

In addition to Massachusetts State Police, Yarmouth police are investigating the death as well as the medical examiner.