Millington Girl Who Died Of Gangrene Was Under DCS Watch

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(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.


  • whoyoukiddin

    She didn’t get promoted to the next grade now did she. What a sad way for a child to live much less die. No one wants to get involved with a child they have to take care of. Why would the healthcare worker not report what was going on. Why wasn’t she changing the bandages in the 1st place. Failed by everyone! No aunts, uncles, grandparents besides these idiots who were with her on a daily basis?

    • Carol McDonald

      First of all Andrea’s family lives in New Orleans,Louisiana. Andrea’s mother located to Millington after Hurricane Katrina. We are a close knit loving family. We were devastated when Andrea died. When we visited Andrea in the hospital we were shocked at the condition of her legs. If Andrea missed her hospital appointments, why no one notified the proper authorities? Why did the hospital released her in such a serious condition? They should have kept her in the hospital until her surgery date. Andrea is in God’s hands now and she is free from any hurt, harm or danger. I pray for all the parties involved who failed her. Hopefully this tragic story will help other children and open the eyes of all who are responsible to protect them.

      • shim-sham-alakazam

        Sure, it’s the HOSPITAL’s fault that the parents allowed such significant neglect to occur. I guess that the hospital didn’t love her enough – oh WAIT – that’s the PARENT’S PLACE! If you have a child, regardless of your ability to pay for services, regardless of your ability to drive to doctor’s appointments, regardless of your ability to provision medical care, it is your RESPONSIBILITY, and no one elses, to ADVOCATE for your child so that they get the best care possible. Somehow I suspect that they were getting subsidized care, so money wasn’t likely an issue, which also means that transportation could have been arranged – the parents were simply too lazy and uncaring to make sure it happened. No one else should be charged but them.

  • ihateallthingssnowbeastattiud

    That’s why even though i have no children of my own am extremely watchful of my sisters childern. I trust absolutely no one with them and am always asking them what’s going on? People are wicked and good at hiding depravity. May this child rest in peace.

  • Parent

    The aide was charged but not the teacher and the teacher knew about it as well? I’m curious to know who the teacher is and why she wasn’t charged.

  • Terrie

    This Rob Johnson, DCS spokesperson needs to be fired & investagated. Ther idiot that went 7 actually spoke to them needs to be charged as well!! If DCWS knew the parents werent keeping appts., then why didnt they follow up ion the appts. they knew were in the future!!??? Dear God these people at DCS are watching over kids??
    Time for an audit & investigation within those walls!!

    • VLC

      I agree. DCS filed false paper work and now a child paid for it with her life. I feel sorry for the kids that are under their watch cuz it is obvious, they are just going thru the motions while gambling with these kids lives. FIRE THEM ALL and those that visited the child, charge them too and put them in jail.

  • peg

    DCS needs a house cleaning, and to start over with microscopic oversight. That will cost money that the county will have to produce. They could cut schools, police, fire or sanitation. Or, how about cutting salaries or pensions at MLGW???

  • parent

    Everyone did not fail Andrea because some of the Millington Police Department Officers and Dispatchers pushed this issue until someone open their eyes. Hats off to those officers and dispatchers. WAY TO GO!!!!!!

    • ddw

      thank you parent!!! your right we fought for this baby!!!! justice will never be served until they stand before the almighty! no matter what happens to them on this life. my partner and I took this call and AndrĂ©a will always be etched in our minds and I think of her often!!! my co workers whom worked the scene did awesome but all have family’s this is one case that will be with us forever!!!!!!

    • VLC

      Yeah, we thank them from pushing this issue, however the damage was already done way before this child died. This is the problem I have. When Andrea passed away, there’s steps taken when someone dieds at home. This child’s body went to the hospital, Morg and then her body was flown to her hometown New Orleans for her services. Unless this baby was being care for by all blind people, it shouldn’t have taken the police dept to determine something wasn’t right bout this situation. This child could no longer walk so education should have taken a back seat to health. I think the reason why authorities waited two years because they were not certain as to who they wanted to charge for this child’s death. An unsure case leads to Innocence. Whomever played a role in assisting with this child in whatever capacity and did nothing, they should feel guilty and if it follows them for the rest of their life, SO BE IT!! Including the hospital where she developed the illness in the first place. So why don’t the DA’s office do a round-up and start from day one.

  • Carla

    The DCS worker needs to be charged. They dropped the ball when it came to this baby. The homebound teacher needs to be punished too because if she saw iy and she didn’t report it she failed Andrea. That’s their duty…An education can’t mean anything without a healthy mind,body,and souk….(correct me if im wrong)

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