Mother Charged in Death of Five-year-old

Date: 2009-03-11

It's a story all too common that begins with a child's birth and a death that comes too soon.

Family members say Kevin King was 8 months old when he was taken from the home of his birth mother. After that, his family said Wednesday, he never had a chance.

Kawanna Atkins admits said the boy she called D.J. was one of seven children she has with seven different dads. He was taken from her when she went to live with a man other than D.J.'s father.

D.J., she said, ‘don't deserve being in the system. I already know what happened to him in the foster home. Every time I seen him in the visiting hours, he had bruises on his nose. Then when he was released to Gloria, he told me he was molested at the other foster home."

D.J.'s name was changed to Kevin King when he was adopted by 58-year-old Gloria Grayson.

D.J. and Grayson lived on a house just off Calloway Drive. By all appearances, life was good for the 5-year-old until his family learned Monday that he was dead, the victim of blunt force trauma to the chest and abdomen.

An autopsy found he was the victim of a homicide. Detectives interviewed the Grayson, and she was arrested.

The circumstances surrounding Kevin's death are not being released at this time. While the Atkins family waits, they just want to bury Kevin, but the coroner's office doesn't know who has the right to bury the child.

"We don't run across this very often," said Supervising Deputy Coroner John Van Rensselaer. "This is only twice in the many years that I have been here that (we’ve had_ the death of this sort with multiple possibilities of next of kin for controlling disposition of the remains."

For now, the pain of not knowing and regret for what could have been done will haunt two families forever. King's aunt, Sekkenna Atkins said, "now my nephew is another statistic in the system. He's anothera statistic. Another adopted child, another foster child that is gone and abused."

"I hate that he died like that," Sekkenna Atkins said. "I would have accepted it better if God took him. Not the way he died, by himself."

Grayson is expected to be arraigned Thursday.


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