Police review Alexis Glover’s case

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Date: 2009-03-10

Uriah A. Kiser

A week after a mother was indicted on charges of murdering her 13-year-old adopted daughter, Prince William police are reviewing how they handled the girl’s case while she was alive.

Alfreedia Leona Gregg-Glover, 45, faces charges of first-degree and felony murder, felony child abuse and filing a false police report in the January disappearance of Alexis “Lexie” Glover.

Gregg-Glover reported Lexie missing from the Central Library in Manassas on Jan. 7. She was found dead in a creek near the McCoart Administration Center two days later.

Prosecutors say Lexie died from drowning and exposure.

Neighbors, social workers and teachers have said Lexie showed signs of abuse as late as a month before her death. And they claim police failed to act.

Prince William County police Chief Charlie T. Deane called Lexie’s death a tragedy. He said the case is complex, involves multiple agencies and is under “active criminal investigation.”

“I have directed a comprehensive review of all police actions, policies and procedures related to this case,” Deane said in a prepared statement. “The review will encompass how the department can better recognize situations of children in extreme need and to equip our officers with additional approaches and resources to assist in these types of cases.

“As part of this process, we have reached out to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children for assistance.”

As a result of public attention in Lexie’s death, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors also called for a review of the county’s Department of Social Services — the agency in charge of overseeing the girl’s case.

Glover told police and the press that she had dropped her daughter off at Central Library on Jan. 7, and that she wandered off sometime later.

An extensive search for the girl followed, with hundreds of police officers and volunteers looking for the girl.

Searchers were doubly concerned because Lexie suffered from sickle cell anemia and had other profound disabilities.

The girl had run away before, and was equipped with a GPS device through a program with the county Sheriff’s Office.

Wes Byers, a neighbor who lives two blocks from the Glover home, told the News & Messenger in January that Lexie appeared at his door after 5 a.m. Dec. 2.

He said she was wearing nothing but her underwear and a vinyl barbeque grill cover.

The girl was cold and distraught, and was bleeding from a gash in the back of her head, Byers said.

The girl claimed her mother hit her with a stick, made her sleep in the garage and made her “earn” her food, he said.

“I think she really felt like she deserved to be treated this way,” Byers said in an earlier interview.

Byers and his wife called police and eventually accompanied the girl and rescue workers to Prince William Hospital, where she was treated, he said.

Others who worked with the girl said they, too, worried that the girl was abused.

Prince William Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert said Lexie’s autopsy revealed preexisting injuries, but nothing major or life-threatening. Ebert also said the case is complicated by “allegations that the girl was inflicting wounds on herself.”

The Department of Social Services offered no comment on the case, saying Virginia law prevented them from talking about any of their cases.

“Like people in the community, everyone at the Department of Social Services is devastated by what happened to Alexis Glover,” Prince William County Social Services Director Jack Ledden said in a prepared statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those whose lives she touched and those who want answers to what has happened. We will continue to do everything we can to cooperate with the state investigation on this case.”

For those who knew Lexie, the reviews of her case are little comfort.

“I just feel like someone dropped the ball when it comes to this little girl,” said Byers.

Staff writer Uriah A. Kiser can be reached at 703-878-8065.

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