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Abuse reported before child was killed, CPS says

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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 9:30 am

Child Protective Services investigated a report of abuse last year involving the 3-year-old boy who died earlier this month in what Odessa police call a murder.

Omar Frias Jr., died Jan. 11 at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, where he had been transported from Medical Center Hospital in Odessa. He suffered blunt-force trauma to his abdomen at his home, according to a police incident report released last week. Police have not identified a suspect, but the investigation is ongoing.

After Frias’ death, CPS removed his 4-month-old brother from their home and placed him in foster care, said Marleigh Meisner, a spokesperson for the agency. CPS said it could not release with whom the children lived or where. But Meisner said about two weeks before Frias died, his mother moved with the children into an apartment with her boyfriend, whose name remained undisclosed Wednesday. The boyfriend is the “alleged father” of Frias’ little brother, CPS reported.

The incident report stated Frias lived at Springwood Apartments, 1401 Harless Ave.

CPS officials opened a case in March 2012 after a referral of child abuse, Meisner said. CPS ruled it was “unable to determine” abuse by Frias’ parents but found “reason to believe” there was abuse by “an unknown perpetrator.” The agency’s investigators observed injuries Frias had suffered, but Meisner said she could not specify what those injuries were.

After the reported abuse last year, Frias’ mother — identified in an Acres West Funeral Chapel obituary as Jasmine Olivas — moved in with her children to their grandparents’ home and received undisclosed services from CPS, Meisner said.

Police reported Frias’ parents took him to the hospital on Jan. 10 because he was unresponsive. But police did not specify whether the parents were Olivas and her boyfriend or Frias’ biological father Omar Frias and his wife Yolanda Mendoza.

As the CPS does anytime a child dies as a result of suspected abuse, the agency is conducting a child death investigation and sharing information with law enforcement, Meisner said.

According to the funeral home, Omar Frias Jr. was buried Jan. 15 after his funeral.

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