MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The Local I-Team has new information on a 2-year-old beaten to death Christmas Eve.
The Tennessee Department of Children’s Service confirms it opened investigations twice into the possible abuse of the child, but never actually made contact with the family.
Police say Jakobe Chaffin was beat to death by his father.
Family members say they called DCS multiple times to report the abuse.
The state admits opening investigations, but tells the Local I-Team case workers dropped ball by not making contact with the family, though officials say “extensive efforts” were made to find the family.
Family members met in an Eads, Tennessee, cemetery Friday to bury the 2-year-old.
“It’s like a piece of my heart has been ripped out ‘cause I was so close to Jakobe, ” said grandmother Tamara Mims.
The child’s father, Jarrod Wright, is in jail charged with his murder. Family members are upset, saying even though they called DCS, the cases were never really investigated.
“I don’t think they took the situation serious enough, because if they did, we wouldn’t be here today,” said uncle Gregory Chaffin.
DCS Commissioner Jennifer Nichols released this statement:
The death of a child is heartbreaking and tragic and to learn that it may have been at the hands of an adult, or even a parent, is unthinkable. While state law prohibits us from commenting on specific details, even the release of a name, I can confirm that DCS has opened a case into the death of this two-year old boy and had opened two previous investigations and in both instances made extensive efforts to try and locate the family. This agency will continue to do everything we can to help police and prosecutors as they work to ensure that justice is served for this child.
At the cemetery, family members question those “extensive efforts,” saying they gave the state the location of the apartment the family and child lived in.
“it’s inaccurate. I feel like they are just trying to cover up their tracks,” said Chaffin.
“They haven’t done their job. They failed me and they failed my family,” said Mims.
Jakobe’s two younger siblings are now in state custody. The family says both also have broken ribs from being beaten by their father.
“If it was done months ago, Jakobe wouldn’t be dead,” said Chaffin.