EXCLUSIVE: State Returned Children to Home Without Utilities Prior to Fire
by Ken Davidson
On January 8, 2014 at 10:30 p.m. 7 month Jayden , 3 year old Alexia and 4 year old Dasani Young tragically died in a fire at 644 Sibley in Hammond. According to published reports, the fire was a result of a space heater being used by the Youngs because the home had no gas or electric service.
The The Gazette has learned exclusively that the Young Children were previously in the custody of the Indiana Department of Child Services. This revelation would mean that the State was involved in monitoring the living conditions of the Children. While the reason for the children being in foster care has not been revealed, the Gazette has confirmed through multiple sources that all four children were place in foster care for an extended period of time. The children were returned to the home at 644 Sibley on June 1, 2013. If published reports are correct, this would be after gas and electric had been shut off in the home.
The Gazette first learned on January 10 that the children had been in foster care. Since that time, we have been in communication with neighbors and others close to the foster parents.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Gazette previously used a quote from the foster mother. We make every effort to ensure that any quote used is accurate and a public statement. We have spoken with the foster parents in this case and they declined to comment about the specifics of the incident. While we have no reason to doubt the authenticity of the statement, our conversation led us to the mutual conclusion that removing the quote would be best for all involved.
We have also spoken with a representative of the Indiana Department of Children Services who declined to speak to the specifics of the case. A public records request has been submitted and we expect more information soon.
We will continue to update this story.