Gainesville Police Questioned For Handling Of Child Death
GAINESVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) – On a Facebook page called Justice for Nate Nate, hundreds of people are asking for answers in the death of 4-year-old Nathan De Alejandro of Gainesville.
The boy died September 24, reportedly covered in burns after being found not breathing.
But new concerns have been brought up about a September 21 visit to the home by Gainesville Police.
Cooke County authorities now say Nathan likely suffered those burns around September 10. On September 21 Gainesville Police officers came to his family’s home, searching for a drug trafficking suspect and found guns and drugs.
Nathan was sleeping under a blanket, so officers say they never saw the injuries and didn’t check him out.
That night a family member left with Nathan, claiming he was going to see a doctor. That never happened, and three days later the child was dead.
Neighbors now wonder why police didn’t remove Nathan from the home. “Did it not occur to them that the whole time they were there the child was wrapped in a sheet,” says Dawn Free, who is also a parent and a neighbor.
Child Protective Services says the police department did not contact them until after Nathan’s death, even though officers are required by law to contact the agency within 48 hours if there is any suspicion a child may be at risk of harm, abuse or neglect.
Gainesville police say it’s not their policy to remove children unless there is an arrest and that family members left with Nathan before they could get a warrant.
Nathans’s parents, Catrina Maldonado and Johnny Earl Alexander were arrested and charged with Injury to a Child on September 28.
Alexander’s parents, Matilde and Johnny Lee Alexander, have also been arrested in connection to the case. Both have been charged with Injury to a Child.