Legislation to Honor Andrew Loyd Could Save Lives
(Farmington, MS) Andrew Loyd was typically seen with a smile on his face, but the only place you’ll see that smile now is in old school pictures.
Andrew Loyd is now in an unkempt grave in the back of an Alcorn County cemetery.
The 11-year-old was murdered by his father Billy last October before he killed himself.
Just months before the murder, Billy was involved in a standoff with police at their Farmington apartment while Andrew was at home.
A News Channel 3 investigation reveals Chief Anthony Holmes should have turned that incident over to the Department of Human Services since Andrew’s life was put in danger.
Loyd voluntarily checked into a mental health clinic after surrendering, but was cleared and left a few days later.
Holmes says he trusted Andrew’s family to notify DHS about what happened. But that was an assumption.
The law is clear: it’s the police department’s job to report the incident to DHS.
“Did you break the law in doing that?” News Channel 3’s Adam Hammond asked Holmes.
“No. If I had faxed the report or called DHS, they would have been notified,” answered Holmes.
But he says he didn’t do those things either.
A News Channel 3 investigation revealed the person to determine if Holmes did break the law is Holmes himself.
“There are laws in place and for whatever the reason they’re not followed. Is that saying someone did something wrong? No. Is that saying we need to go back and punish them? No. What that means is we have to move forward and strengthen the law,” said State Representative Nick Bain.
Bain says nothing can be done to bring Andrew back, but he’s working to make sure he isn’t forgotten, and that something like this doesn’t happen again.
“First and foremost, I don’t want his death to be in vain,” said Bain.
Bain vows to introduce a bill called “Andrew Loyd’s Law” in January.
It says if a child only has one parent, like Andrew, and that parent is voluntarily or involuntarily admitted to a mental health clinic, the hospital must notify DHS.
This adds another layer of security for innocent children in the line of danger.
“DHS is then mandated within 48 hours to look at the situation. To look at the home and the whole totality of the circumstances and determine if the child should be placed in some type of shelter, or foster parents or some place safe,” said Bain.
Bain says it won’t cost tax payers more money because it shouldn’t change anything for DHS.
Police and sheriff departments are already responsible for notifying the agency about a child in a dangerous situation.
It’s been almost a year since Andrew’s murder, and questions about whether more could have or should have been done to protect him are still being asked.
All his remaining family can hope for is this never happens to anyone ever again.
“They need to be more advanced in handling that situation,” pleads Andrew’s Uncle Robert Loyd.
Bain says the bill could be signed into law next spring and go into effect by next July.