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D.A.: Case Workers Failed Slain Girl

SHAWNEE, Okla., Aug. 16 (UPI) — A prosecutor in Oklahoma says child welfare workers failed a 5-year-old girl allegedly killed by her father less than a month after she went to live with him.

At a news conference Monday, Pottawatomie County District Attorney Richard Smothermon said a report on the death of Serenity Anne Deal by the state Department of Human Services is incomplete and aimed more at deflecting blame than improving the system.

Sean Devon Brooks, 31, of Oklahoma City has been charged with first-degree murder and felony child abuse. He allegedly killed his daughter in early June.

Serenity’s mother lost custody when she was charged with sexually molesting a young boy. She lived with her grandparents until DHS staff discovered they had allowed her to stay overnight with her mother on one occasion.

At the time she was put in her father’s custody, she had been living with a foster mother.

Smothermon said child welfare workers withheld information from the district attorney’s office and judge. He said, for example, they were not told Brooks owed child support for three other children and had not seen them for two years.

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