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Youth services admits failure in toddler's death by neglect

DDP/The Local · 30 Mar 2010, 16:36

Published: 30 Mar 2010 16:36 GMT+02:00

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Though it went against procedure, the office did not follow up on a telephone tip from a neighbour about the girl’s situation, district youth services official Josef Hecht said.

“The personnel decided there was no acute danger to the children and therefore did not react,” he said, adding that this was a terrible mistake.

The neighbour reportedly called about six months ago to say the then two-year-old girl and her six-year-old brother no longer went out to play in the building’s yard, but instead could only be seen from their windows. The woman also reported that the children’s grandfather, who lived nearby, was most often seen caring for the children in the town near the Czech border.

On Saturday the girl’s 21-year-old mother found the child, identified as Lea, dead in her bed and alarmed emergency services.

An autopsy showed that Lea had suffered malnutrition, dehydration and various other illnesses.

“One could have, and should have done something,” senior public prosecutor Gerd Schäfer said.

Eyewitnesses described the family’s apartment as “extremely neglected” and “trashed” in the local daily Weidener Zeitung.

Lea’s mother is now in police custody after they issued a warrant for her arrest in an investigation for manslaughter.

Story continues below…

So far investigators believe that Lea’s condition worsened over the course of days or a few weeks, but they have refused to speculate on what may have caused her mother’s neglect.

The woman reportedly separated from Lea’s 27-year-old father some months ago, but he is not a suspect in the case.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

20:37 March 30, 2010 by peschvogel
Home schooling, lost children, kidnapped kids...Ah yes, the wonderful leftover Nazi organization...The Jugendamt..Germany can kiss their acceptance into a larger EU role if this terrorist organization is not disabandoned. No wonder women arent having kids with protection like this...
04:12 March 31, 2010 by LMB222
21-year-old mother of more than one? And that's all in a state which would be happy to oppose abortion.

When is life going to start to make sense to me?
09:44 March 31, 2010 by moistvelvet
I've been reading a few threads over the weeks and one thing remains constant, the negative, sad and bitter brain farts from peschvogel, give it a rest you come across as a vile person. This was a story about the death of a young girl and all you can do is use it as a platform to repeat your over-used mantra of dislike for anything German, surely you could spend your lonely time doing something that would make you happier or god forbid actually add anything constructive to the topic, that I know may be asking the impossible.

Respond if you like with another "cut and paste" comment that will be brushed off by me, but really do yourself a favour and get a life, there are so many more things to enjoy in life than spending your day and night bashing at a keyboard to relieve the frustration you obviously have with Germans, it is getting boring now!
11:52 March 31, 2010 by dbert4
These type of event are very sad, there is plenty of blame to go around. One can ask, what mother would do this and why didn't the father know or the grandfather?

To criticize German society, especially in comparison to America society is stupid and not valid. There is still a much more intact social structure in Germany than America, grandparent take an interest and play more of a role with child. The is less divorce, particularly among couples with children and the neighbors tend to notice and care more than in the US.

But in both places, this situation of couples splitting and one parent or the other kills the children and often themselves out of revenge, despair or whatever is a sad and growing phenomenon.

One thing is certain though, this should be responded to with mental help for parents and couples. The unfortunate America reacting is to simply call for the death penalty if the perpetrator survives.

And the Moslems are the only barbaric ones?
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