Records released by the state Department of Children's Services showing 42 cases where children died or nearly died after the agency had some type of involvement with them shows that half of the kids were under 1 year old. Some of the records didn't even include the child's age.
A Nashville judge ordered the files released on Friday after a group of media organizations, led by the Tennessean and including the Associated Press, sued to get access to them.
The Tennessean is reporting that records show that a 3- or 4-month-old infant girl identified as "Case No. 1" died after her father whipped her with a belt so she'd stop crying.
One of the files shows that a 14-year-old boy died when his parents delayed seeking emergency medical treatment when the child was having shortness of breath. A 2-month-old died after suffering from a brain injury. In that case, and several others, the DCS records drew no conclusions about whether the child died as a result of abuse or neglect and the files listed the cause of death as "undetermined" and said the perpetrator was "unknown."
The files show children died from abuse, neglect, health problems, drowning and a house fire.