Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder now involved in O'Fallon, Mo. boy in cage case

6:30 PM, Mar 27, 2013   |    comments
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By Farrah Fazal

O'FALLON, Mo. (KSDK) - The Missouri lieutenant governor is getting involved in a case of a child who police say was locked in a makeshift cage, after NewsChannel 5's Farrah Fazal couldn't get the Department of Social Services to answer questions.

Department of Social Services is responsible for the case.  Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder wrote a letter to the director of the Department of Social Services. He said he too wants to hold state officials accountable. He said the public deserves to know what state officials are doing to protect a helpless, disabled boy.

O'Fallon police officers got a call on December 15, 2010 to go to a house on Half Moon Drive. They said they found an autistic boy in a makeshift cage in his own urine and feces. The prosecutor at the time, Jack Banas, didn't charge Victoria and Terry Smith. They went through juvenile court, got their son and his siblings back and moved from St. Charles County to Lincoln County.

The new St. Charles County prosecutor said the state has not supervised the parents since they moved. He's now charging them with endangering a child.

Tim Lohmar said, to the best of his knowledge, the state has not started an investigation or checked on the boy since Lohmar filed charges. NewsChannel 5 wanted to know why. We asked the DSS, who is responsible for the case, for answers. They wouldn't answer our questions. We went to Lt. Gov. Kinder.

"It certainly seems a ball has been dropped by someone and that's why we need answers. That's why I was happy to join your efforts to get us some answers," said Kinder.

In his letter, Kinder wrote " it appears as though your Communications Department is not cooperating with Farrah Fazal of KSDK-Channel 5 in answering basic questions relating to DSS's role in the care of the young boy. The public deserves to know...Please..provide me with assurances DSS is doing everything it can."

Victoria and Terry Smith will have to go to court to face the charges against them.



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