DCF doesn’t get autopsy report of 7-year-old who died in state custody


Palm Beach Post – Post on Politics

by Dara Kam

Department of Children and Families Secretary George Sheldon made the apparent suicide of a 7-year-old Broward County boy in foster care one of his top priorities in April.

Sheldon created a working group to get to the bottom of Gabriel Myers’ death and examine why the child was on a psychotropic drug cocktail without the consent of his guardians.

Despite Sheldon’s attention to the boy’s case, his office was unable to get its hands on a copy of the autopsy released to the public by the Broward County Medical Examiner early Thursday afternoon.

About an hour after the autopsy was made public around 11 a.m., Sheldon’s press secretary Joe Follick said he did not have a copy of it. He suggested getting a copy from the medical examiner.

Broward County Medical Examiner Joshua Perper quickly replied to a public records request and e-mailed a copy of the 28-page report.

Hours later, Follick still did not have a copy of it.

“By reviewing the facts of this case carefully, we can work to continue to improve the child welfare system in Florida. While much progress has been made, Gabriel’s death starkly reminds us that when it comes to a child’s life, we cannot relax. Every decision we make profoundly affects the life of that child,” Sheldon said in a press release when the Myers work group was created in April.

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