State Child Welfare Agency Report Released

A Kansas child welfare agency determined that a 3-year-old girl whose battered body was found last month died as the result of child abuse, a finding that comes months after the agency first received reports of abuse.

Laura Howard, Secretary for the Kansas Department for Children and Families, said that she doesn’t see anything at this time that leads her to question her staff’s actions or suggests any missteps by her agency.

Howard said she would have liked to have released the information two weeks ago, but that it took time for the agency to investigate whether abuse led to Olivia’s death because law enforcement had to take the lead.

The agency initially balked at releasing any information, despite a 2018 law that aimed to make such documents more transparent when a child dies.

Olivia’s remains were found in a shallow grave on July 10 after her father reported the Kansas City, Kansas, girl missing.

The 29-year-old father and his 33-year-old girlfriend have since been charged with felony murder and other crimes.