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Child Protective Services Agency Visited Home of Dead 5-Year-Old 13 Times

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | January 23, 2017 11:47am

QUEENS — Police are investigating the death of a 5-year-old boy who was found unconscious Sunday afternoon in his Jamaica home, which child protective services investigators visited at least 13 times in the past, officials and sources said. 

Officers found Michael Guzman inside his home on 109th Street, between Inwood and Liverpool streets, after his mother called 911 around 4:15 p.m., police said.

Emergency personnel performed CPR on the boy, but he was pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital at 4:45 p.m., the NYPD said.

The boy, whose body showed no visual signs of trauma, had a prior medical condition involving epileptic seizures, police sources said.

Michael's mother told investigators she and the boy's father went to visit friends the night before, leaving the child with his five siblings, ages 15, 12, 11, 9 and 2, sources said.

The couple told investigators that when they returned around 2:30 a.m. they checked on the boy and he seemed fine. Michael's parents said that the next day, around 11 a.m., the boy was still sleeping and his 15-year-old sister put a blanket around him because he seemed to be cold, sources said. 

At 4:15 p.m., his mother found him unconscious with vomit coming out of his mouth, sources said.

Sources told DNAinfo New York there was an extensive history of domestic abuse in the Jamaica home, and child protective services investigators had visited the family, who had only recently moved to Queens, at least 13 times in the past.

Eight of those visits were "indicated," sources said, meaning that social workers "found enough evidence to support the claim that a child has been abused or neglected," according to the Administration of Children’s Services's website

In five cases, investigators determined that the reports were "unfounded," sources said. 

The boy's parents were questioned by police but they were released and no charges had been filed as of Monday morning, officials said.

“We are saddened by this troubling news and are investigating the circumstances leading to this child fatality, along with the NYPD,” a spokesman for the ACS said in a statement. The agency declined to disclose additional details citing confidentiality laws.

The medical examiner will determine the cause of death as the investigation is ongoing, police said.