The most tragic consequence of child abuse and neglect is child fatality. Child fatality cases must be comprehensively and properly investigated, avoiding any presumptions about the cause and manner of death, to ensure that the people responsible for the child’s death are held accountable for their actions. This presentation will focus on how to effectively conduct an investigation into the death of a child and will include a guide that explains various investigative steps to be taken and questions to ask all members of the multidisciplinary team. The presenter will discuss evidence identification and collection, witness and suspect interviews, and autopsy findings. The presenter will also discuss two case studies. The first involves child torture in which a four-year-old was physically abused to death by his father’s girlfriend. The second pertains to child suffocation in which an eight-month-old was smothered to death by his father. The presenter will explain how certain investigative steps were applied in each of these cases that ultimately led to the suspects admitting their guilt. (Presentation will include some graphic images).
Identify the investigative steps that should be taken in a child fatality investigation.
Explain the different types of evidence to gather, and types of questions to ask of individuals that had or may have had access to the child prior to their death.
Apply the investigative steps described in the presentation to cases pertaining to child suffocation and child strangulation.