(Millington) There is new information on who was watching as a 12-year-old Millington girl who died from bedsores and gangrene ON Nov. 24, 2012.
It appears the child was one of the cases assigned to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, an agency under fire for the number of children that have died on its watch.
WREG started looking into the number of deaths that have occurred under the watch of DCS more than a year ago.
When we dug through the hundreds of cases and mounds of paperwork, we uncovered the case of 12-year-old Andrea Ruth.
The DCS file for Andrea Ruth shows DCS opened a case on June 7, 2011, but closed it less than two months later, saying no services needed.
We asked why.
“We visited with the family. We talked to the child. We saw that there had been appointments. We saw that there were more appointments in the future and the child was getting the services of medical professionals,” said Rob Johnson, DCS spokesperson.
DCS closed the case even though Andrea missed an appointment to have her legs amputated because of a severe case of gangrene.
“A previous doctor was in midtown Memphis and the family lived in Millington and we understand they had changed doctors to someone who was closer to where they lived,” said Johnson.
Thursday, WREG went through the file DCS kept on Andrea’s care and lack thereof.
Here’s just some of what it says: The 12-year-old did not have any home medical services. Andrea had a disease where her skin peeled away and showed signs of being left in a bed for long periods of time. There were maggots in a dressing that covered a foot with no flesh.
We also uncovered DCS did a more thorough job investigating after Andrea’s death than before.
The agency spent eight months looking into how she died, even though DCS closed the case thinking Andrea was getting the proper care.
DCS questioned healthcare aide Chasara Jones, the woman hired to help keep Andrea healthy.
She’s now charged with murder in her death.
Andrea Ruth died of infected bedsores and gangrene.
Jones said she assisted but that Andrea’s mother, Raven Ruth, actually changed the bandages.
The aide said she never noticed maggots.
Ruth and her husband, Errol Johnson, are also charged with neglect in the death of their daughter, Andrea.
The case file shows that DCS also interviewed the Shelby County Schools home bound teacher who taught Andrea.
She said she beats herself up wondering if she could have done more.
She says at the time, her concern centered around whether Andrea would be promoted to the next grade or not.