2-year-old’s family says authorities failed them

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Feb 23, 2018 | Uncategorized |

Since Nov. 29, when news broke that a 2-year-old boy had been beaten to death, family, friends and the public have struggled with how such a thing could have happened.

Mitchell Lee Vanryn, 27, who was living with Malakai’s mother, Amber Garrett, was initially arrested and charged with aggravated battery to a child and domestic battery death to a child. On Wednesday, he was charged with murder.

Members of the toddler’s family say they alerted authorities to their concerns about his welfare weeks before his death. They and others want answers.

“I am mortified by the story about Malakai and the lack of any information about early intervention,” one Journal Gazette reader wrote in an email. “That child should have been removed from the home weeks, if not months ago!”

The family blames Child Protective Services for not responding to their pleas to remove Malakai from his home and the justice system for not moving quickly enough.

James Wide, CPS spokesman, said a confidentiality statute prevents his agency from specifically discussing the case but said when The Journal Gazette receives records it has requested from the agency he will be able to “walk through it with (us).”

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