A judge is questioning the Department of Children and Families after a four-year-old was found dead in his mother's Coral Springs apartment. NBC 6's Claudia DoCampo reports.
In a Friday court hearing in the death investigation of a Coral Springs child, a judge made one thing very clear.
"This court gave very clear instructions both orally on the record and by written record that the child was not to spend the night unsupervised," Broward County Judge Elizabeth Scherer said.
Antwon Hope, 4, was found dead inside 23-year-old mother Destene Simmons' Coral Springs apartment at 9022 NW 28th Drive Monday after police responded to various 911 hangup calls.
Judge Scherer said that the Department of Children and Families did not deliver the court a home study report which was needed before the child could spend unsupervised extended visits with Simmons.
"Neither this court nor the guardian program were provided with the home study until June 11, 2013 after the child was already deceased," Scherer said.
Coral Springs police had an arrest warrant issued for Simmons, making her ineligible for unsupervised visits, but DCF said they only knew of Simmons' arrest for driving with a suspended license.
Meanwhile, family members appealed for justice.
"DCF, they're going to move on in a couple of months," said grandmother Sharon Walker. "It's going to be out of their minds, but we don't have AJ anymore. The system failed my granndbaby."
Both sides of the child's family then spent the afternoon talking about the funeral arrangements, which at first they disagreed about.
"It's not about me, it's not about him, its not about any of us," said great aunt Sharon Williams. "It's about this child and we have to do what's right for this child, right now."
An autopsy was performed on the child's body Tuesday, but the medical examiner has yet to release a cause of death. Simmons does not yet face any criminal charges.
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