Numerous times in recent years local children have died of abuse or neglect while child protective services had contact with the family.
1. Nathan Wylie
Wylie, 13, died April 1 from a drug overdose.
Children’s Services had an open case with the family due to previous reports of drug use in the Valley Street home. His father Robert B. Wylie, 40, was arrested in December for drug possession uncovered during a traffic stop of his girlfriend Tina Davis.
Davis served one month of a six-month child endangering sentence last year that was related to having drugs in the home with children present.
Robert Wylie is charged with endangering children and two counts of having weapons under disability in connection to his son’s death.
2. Khmorra and Kaiden Helton
Claudena Helton, 30, is accused of shooting her two children, ages 8 and 6, in the head May 18 outside their home on Lori Sue Avenue in Dayton. The children died at Dayton Children’s Hospital three days later.
Mental illness was likely a factor in the incident, police said.
Helton faced child abuse allegations in 2014. Montgomery County Children Services had an open and active case and said they were working with the family, though they would not say more.
Helton has been charged with multiple counts of aggravated murder and is awaiting trial in the Montgomery County Jail on $1 million bond.
3. Sylas Warwick
Warwick, 21 months, of West Alexandria, was beaten and malnourished and died of blunt force trauma to the head in 2015.
His mother Christy Warwick was sentenced to nine years in prison for involuntary manslaughter and child endangering and is incarcerated at the Ohio Reformatory for Women.
Job and Family Services records indicate there was a prior Preble County Children’s Services case open involving Sylas and that he’d previously been taken into and then discharged from the agency’s custody.
4. Tyyuan Nicholson Jr.
The 2-year-old died in 2011 from blunt force trauma.
His mother, Asia Morris, initially claimed the boy fell down the stairs at their Dayton home and hit his head on a table. But his injuries, including new and old bruises on his stomach, sides, face, ears and chest, did not fit with that explanation.
Morris was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for murder.
County records show the family had a prior open case with Montgomery County Children Services and that Tyyuan had been the subject of a county-imposed safety plan.
*A previous version of this story incorrectly said Tyyuan had been removed from his mother’s care and then put back in her custody.
5. Malechi Wilson
Wilson, 2, died from blunt force trauma just two months after being returned to his mother’s care by a county magistrate.
Children’s Services had taken custody of the boy when he was 1-year-old after looking into his living conditions. He was in foster care until an April 1, 2009, court hearing where a guardian ad litem recommended legal custody be granted to his mother, Denise Stinson. Children’s Services said she had completed her case plan objectives and had appropriate housing and income to care for her child.
After Wilson’s death, both Stinson and her boyfriend were arrested but then released. Months later, a grand jury declined to indict on child endangering or any other criminal charges.
Police said the boy had been in obvious distress for hours before his mother called 9-1-1 and said he was having trouble breathing.
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Montgomery County Children’s Services does not discuss details of specific cases. But officials say these situations are tricky because the law favors keeping families together unless there is an immediate risk to the child’s health or safety.
“We’re always challenged with balancing a child’s rights versus a parent’s rights,” said Jewell Good, assistant director of Children’s Services for the county.
The Dayton Daily News is digging into dozens of cases statewide in which children killed by abuse or neglect have had prior contact with local child protective services agencies. If you have information about a specific case and wish to talk to a reporter, contact Katie Wedell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 937-328-0353.