MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Grieving family members of a two-year-old who was murdered say they think the state’s Department of Children’s Services is retaliating against them for speaking out after little Jakobe Chaffin’s death.
The boy’s father was arrested for the murder on Christmas Eve.
Family members told us they had complained to DCS numerous times to report abuse, but nothing was ever done.
Now almost a month after the boy’s death, they say the state is refusing to let them visit Chaffin’s siblings who were taken into custody. Two uncles say the state has shut them out regarding Jakobe Chaffin’s two siblings – a one-month-old and one-year-old.
The child’s uncle, Corey Hayes, tells the Local I-Team since Chaffin’s two other siblings were taken into state custody, he and his family can’t get any information from the state about their well-being.
“I haven’t seen the kids. My mom hasn’t seen the kids. We don’t know where they are,” said Hayes.
Hayes says he called DCS several times to report the father was abusing his child months before the boy’s death.
“It makes me feel horrible because this is an agency that I reached out to numerous times to try and save this from happening. And now they have the kids, and they are holding the kids hostage from us. And I was trying to save the kids to prevent this from happening,” said Hayes.
Hayes says he or other immediate family members would take custody of the children, but believe they are being shut out because they went public on Local 24 News about what they say was a lack of response from the state when the abuse calls were called in.
In a statement earlier this month, the state admitted it had opened two previous investigations but failed to locate the family.
Now an investigation is open, but Hayes say it’s too late.
“You are doing an investigation now that the child has passed, like, and the family is very vocal about it.”
We contacted the spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Children Services, however we have not heard back, likely because Monday is a federal holiday.