Child Abuse Report Made Before 7-Year-Old's Death - 8 News NOW

Child Abuse Report Made Before 7-Year-Old's Death

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Roderick "RJ" Arrington at the airport before leaving Illinois to join his mother and stepfather in Las Vegas. Roderick "RJ" Arrington at the airport before leaving Illinois to join his mother and stepfather in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS -- Documents released Wednesday in the beating death of a 7-year-old boy by Clark County Family Services reveal authorities received a report of abuse a day before Roderick "RJ" Arrington Jr. died.

The report is called a disclosure form and it is a legal document released by the county any time there is a child death.

Clark County's Department of Family Services released a statement about the Arrington case Thursday:

"As indicated in our public disclosure, the Department of Family Services received a Child Protective Services hotline call on the same day that Roderick Arrington may have sustained injuries that ultimately led to his death. We are cooperating fully with Metro's investigation and are conducting a complete review and investigation into this matter. That investigation will include a review of all policies and procedures related to the hotline and CPS and will consider whether those policies and procedures were appropriately followed in Roderick's case. No child should ever have to suffer the way Roderick did and the loss of any child's life is tragic. Our deepest sympathies are extended to Roderick's family and friends."

His grandparents are frustrated he wasn't taken out of the home before it was too late. RJ's grandfather, George Roach, said the heartache from losing his grandson is a pain beyond anything words can describe.

"It's not anger toward the guy and his mother or whatever. "It's the idea that he was taken from us from Bloomington (Ill.) and moved out there and he lost his life on some foolishness," Roach said. "He wasn't able to communicate with his grandparents and his father like we knew he was able to do."

Clark County Family Services released a disclosure form showing the type of abuse and physical discipline RJ was receiving at home. The form doesn't say who made the report or show that anything was done about the abuse.

The next day RJ was admitted to the hospital where he was declared brain dead and later died.

"They could have spared his life as it's just hard for me to believe that this went on, and he was going back and forth to school and he didn't say anything," Roach said. "I believe RJ would have said somebody was doing something to him."

While RJ's family searches for answers, Children's Advocacy Alliance in Nevada President Thom Reilly said more information needs to be released before placing blame. Reilly suspects the county is looking internally to figure out what happened.

"I think the first reaction is always to say, 'OK, well something went wrong with Child Protective Services,' and I think what we need to do is actually look at what type of information was there," Reilly said. "Obviously one area that needs to be looked at is when that report came in there, they have certain amount of time by (state law) to actually go and respond to a case of abuse and neglect."

The boy's family said they wish more was done to save his life and hope the system sees that justice is done.

"He could still be alive today had they done due diligence about the whole thing," Roach said.

County officials said the entire case is under investigation and they are working with Metro Police. Child advocates said in any case, it is up to the community and faith leaders to speak up because someone's life could depend on it.

RJ's mother and stepfather, Dina and Markiece Palmer, were charged with murder and child abuse and are due back in court Thursday morning.

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