LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Questions surround the death of a newborn baby named Isaiah Joel, who died in the foster care system.
The I-Team uncovered a document that reveals the foster parents were previously investigated for neglect in an unrelated case more than two years ago.
In an exclusive interview, the child’s grandmother, who asked us to protect her identity, spoke out and said she is still looking for answers.
This isn’t the first tragedy for the family this year. Last April, Isaiah’s mother was stabbed to death in a parking lot right in front of his grandmother. Metro Police identified the killer as the mother’s ex-boyfriend.
The grandmother says Child Protective Services (CPS) took custody of the infant the same day. She says she expected baby Isaiah would soon be reunited with her, and in the meantime, prepared to permanently care for him.
“I need my grandson back because I’m going to be ready, okay, to have him,” she shared.
Isaiah’s grandmother says she repeatedly reached out to a CPS caseworker to ask to be reunited with her grandson.
“I am ready to get him. I’m ready, and I was very happy, okay? He never returned my messages,” she recounted.
She tells the I-Team that she finally received a call from the Clark County Coroner’s Office.
“He say, ‘No, I have bad news for you.’ Bad news, why? And he told me that he’s dead. I scream. I scream. I was very mad,” she recalled.
Isaiah’s grandmother says no details about her grandson’s death were shared with her.
The I-Team dug for answers and found that at two months and 14 days old, Isaiah died at UMC after an incident in the master bedroom of a foster family assigned to care for him. This is according to the coroner’s office.
That’s 26 days after the grandmother says CPS took custody of him.
Isaiah’s cause of death is pending.
The I-Team also obtained a child fatality disclosure, which states the Department of Family Services received a report that the child had been found unresponsive in his crib by his foster parent. It also states that the same foster parents were previously investigated.
A report was received alleging neglect in 2018 for at least one other child in their care. The allegations were found unsubstantiated.
Andre Lagomarsino is the attorney representing the family, although a lawsuit has not been filed.
“Our clients need to know what happened,” he said. “They need to proceed with all the natural processes of grieving and getting answers.”
The I-Team reached out to CPS. In an email, a spokesman wrote that CPS is awaiting the coroner’s report, the foster parents have not been charged, their license is on hold and under investigation, and they also do not currently have any foster children.
When we asked why CPS isn’t sharing information with the grandmother, we were told that “confidentiality requirements preclude CPS from sharing information with her without parental consent.”
To reiterate, the child’s father is charged with murder, with records showing he is currently going to be transferred to a mental health facility, and his mother was killed.
As she grieves the loss of her daughter, the grandmother is in disbelief about the loss of her grandson.
“In my heart, I think he’s not dead,” she expressed. “It’s not easy. It’s very hard. I love him.”
The I-Team followed up an additional three times, asking about the confidentiality regarding the child since the mother is deceased, and according to records, the father has been declared not competent for trial. No additional response or explanation was received.