NORTH LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A 2-year-old child is dead, and according to a local grandmother, Child Protective Services could have protected her grandson.
“I just miss him,” said Shelby Mannino, grandmother. “I just miss him a lot.”
In an exclusive interview with the I-Team, Mannino said her 2-year-old grandson, J.J. Newman, was loving, bright, and full of life.
But his little life was cut short on February 5.
“I mean — it’s unfathomable,” Mannino said.
North Las Vegas Police say they found J.J. unresponsive inside a home with bruises, cuts, and bed bug bites. His little body was described as looking like a skeleton. UMC doctors and nurses called it one of the worst cases of malnourishment they’ve ever seen.
According to Mannino, the Clark County Coroner’s office also told her that J.J. had the drug methamphetamine in his system.
“I’m afraid that J.J. thought toward the end — like you know — ‘my grandma is not coming back for me,'” said Mannino.
Jail records show J.J.’s father, Chad Newman and his girlfriend Haydee Razo were arrested on July 19 for 1st-degree murder, child abuse, and conspiracy.
J.J. was living with them and Razo’s other five children in a mobile home.
Mannino says her daughter, who is J.J.’s mother, agreed to let the child live there, but after a visit in September, the couple wouldn’t let her see J.J. anymore.
“I wanted to see my grandson,” Mannino said. “I was so mad. I was so sad.”
Providing the I-Teaam with her personal notes, Mannino says she reached out to North Las Vegas Police and tried to make contact with J.J. multiple times, along with asking Child Protective Services for help.
When the I-Team reached out to CPS, a spokesman wrote a statement that said, “state law does not allow us to comment on individual cases.”
The I-Team was able to track down a document which states a referral and coded information was received just one week before J.J’s death.
“I thought for sure they’d go out there,” Mannino said. “I mean I told her I haven’t seen him since September. The last time we saw him, he had bruises on his face. He won’t ever let us see him, and they were just; they were like we can’t go out there.”
Vanessa Murphy, Reporter: “What do you think they should have done?
Shelby Mannino, grandmother to J.J. Newman: “I think they should have went out there and checked on him and demanded to see him. This is my grandson. I just want justice for JJ.”
According to the arrest report, Chad Newman was investigated by CPS in California for child neglect involving his two other children. The case was closed, and the claims were found to be unsubstantiated.