Part Two: new baby Wayne details
Fri, 07 Sep 2007 02:22:48 GMT —
A month after his death, funeral services for baby Wayne Anderson of Iberia were held this week in Sullivan, Illinois. This week we learned more about the events that lead up to the baby's death. I n the second part of our FactFinder report, KRCG's Mallory McGowin brings us new details about June 23, the day authorities removed Wayne from his grandparent's care, and the days leading up to July 11, the day police believe Wayne's mother Christina White set his crib on fire.
This report we obtained through the Freedom of Information Act offers vivid detail of what officers found on the night of June 23, when by chance they went to the home of Walter and Charleana White.
They arrived after a four year old ran into the road, right in front an Iberia Police officer. They found the White's babysitting their grandson, six-month-old Wayne Anderson, Junior. They also found the home had no running water, there were dog and cat feces on the floor along with rotting garbage. There was a hole in the backyard that appeared to be used as a toilet. Officers also found marijuana.
Authorities took baby Wayne and his four year old sister to the hospital to be checked. Police contacted authorities from Social Services Children's Division and the Juvenile Office.
While a Children's Division supervisor and caseworker originally recommended the children be placed in an emergency foster home, the Juvenile Office told the caseworker to run the proper checks on the parents, Christina White and Wayne Anderson Senior, and return the children to them.
"Based on the information that was given to us at the time, and based on the law...we followed the law, we followed our protocol and it did not appear at the time that there was any reason for the children to have been removed from their mother's custody," says Tammy Walden, Chief Juvenile Officer for the 26th District.
But these documents show baby Wayne's parents didn't have a safe place to call home. They were living with Christina's aunt and Iberia Police officers believed the aunt's home was as unsanitary as Walter and Charleana White's. The Social Services caseworker told the parents to stay in a hotel for the night.
"In this case, when that decision was made not to remove the children from their parents' custody, our staff ensured that Wayne was not returned to a household that was unsanitary," says Social Services Children's Division representative Celesta Hartgraves.
By 4:30 p.m. the next day, the caseworker determined Christina's aunt's home was not suitable for the children so Christina suggested they could stay at her sister Danna's home, the house at 432 Lombar St. The caseworker assessed that house, ran criminal checks on Danna White and her boyfriend, and approved the house that evening.
In the following days, the Social Services caseworker had contact with Christina White, helping her to find financial assistance for an apartment deposit. They met the morning of July 10th. The next morning, Social Services received the news, baby Wayne had been severly burned.
"Our Children's Division worker did have ongoing contact once this report was initiated and at no time during those contacts did she have any indication that Christina was abusive to her children or would have been abusive," says Hartgraves.
Aside from a custody meeting the next day, this is where the Social Services report ends. Further reports regarding the crib fire and the events that have taken place since have not been released.
Christina White is scheduled to appear before Judge Kenneth Oswald in a Miller County courtroom Wednesday, Sept. 19. She faces arson , child endangerment and first degree muder charges. Christina's parents Walter and Charleana White will be in the same courtroom before the same judge Monday, Sept. 10. They're charged with child endangerment.