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-- Megan Garvey and Anthony Pesce

Unincorporated Los Angeles County: Jasmine Granados, 19 months

August 11, 2009 | 10:34 pm
Location of Jasmine Granados' death.Jasmine Granados, a 19-month-old Latina toddler, was found dead after firefighters were summoned about 2:50 a.m. Saturday, August 8 to a residence in the 1200 block of West 93rd Streetin an unincorporated area near Westmont, officials said.

Jasmine, who was initially reported to be 2-years old, had been in foster care along with her mother, who is also a minor, according to authorities.

County coroner's office said Sunday that an autopsy was pending.

County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who spoke with officials from the Department of Children and Family Services and the Sheriff's Department, said Jasmine apparently had bruises and scratches on her, but it is not clear whether those injuries caused her death.

Ridley-Thomas said the girl was not at her foster home at the time of her death. He said it was unclear why the girl was at the 93rd Street home, or who else was present.

He added that several children were living there, and that they had been taken into protective custody after Jasmine's death.

Children and Family Services Director Trish Ploehn said Sunday that the situation was "unusual" and her agency did not know if abuse or neglect were involved in Jasmine's death. "I have a lot of people looking at it," she said. "We need more information from the coroner about cause of death."

If Jasmine's death proves to be the result of abuse or neglect, she would be the third child under the department's care to have died under such circumstances in a month.

This is "an extremely urgent matter for the board to deal with," Ridley-Thomas said.L.A. county sheriff's officials did not have further details about the circumstances of the girl’s death. 

The Los Angeles County Fire Department said it responded to the location about 2:54 a.m. but did not release further details.

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Ari B. Bloomekatz

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Comments (1)

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked in child welfare, private and public systems, since 1983, first as a direct line social worker, then a supervisor, then a program manager and agency director. I worked in LA County in the late 1990's as a community provider and was routinely horrified by the toxic culture which fed the failure of social workers and their supervisors to appreciate the danger they routinely foisted upon children because of their (incompetent) actions and failure to act. We have all heard our county supervisors repeatedly speak with great pride about Trish Poelhn's rise to the top of DCFS as an "insider"; quite frankly, this is nothing about which they should be touting since she is part and parcel of this very toxic and corrupt culture. DCFS is an organization which is power drunk rather than being child focused and family's a system which would not only not recognize strengths based best practice but one which is absolutely lacking the culture to embrace and sustain it. I'm tired of hearing Supervisor Molina (especially) express outrage and talk about "system failures". There is no such thing as a system failure! Systems are comprised of people and it is the people in these organizations, the ones we pay to protect our kids, who are the terrible failures. All of us who have worked in child welfare know that some children unfortunately will die even when everyone does everything right...however, NO CHILD SHOULD DIE BECAUSE SOME ONE DID NOT DO THEIR JOB! Poelhn has been in this job for 2 years now...all the management research says that if a manager cannot or does not turn the corner in an organization within the first 18 months, nothing will change. It's time to clean house. Let’s vet and hire people who are more interested in doing their job rather than keeping their job and who have the courage to model the way and hold everyone in the “system” accountable.


About the Reporters
The Homicide Report is compiled using information from the Los Angeles County coroner's office, local law enforcement agencies and the Los Angeles Times. It is written by Times staff writers.

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