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Children removed after foster girl's death


Children removed after foster girl's death

Author: DEE ANNE FINKEN Gosia Wozniacka of The Oregonian staff contributed to this report.; The Oregonian

Dateline: GRESHAM

SUMMARY: Homicide A couple's two daughters and the girl's sister are taken away while police investigate

GRESHAM -- The foster father of a 2-year-old girl who died of internal injuries this week said Thursday that he does not understand why officials removed his birth daughters from the house along with the foster girl's 3-year-old sister.

"They took away our two daughters and our niece," said Armando Moreno-Garcia, 38. "They gave us no information, we have no contact with the children, and we don't know when they'll return them to us. We don't know what's going on."

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services on Thursday said the action is normal procedure in such cases and that the children are in protective custody. "Given the nature of what happened, removing all children is not out of the practice," said Patricia Fenny, a spokeswoman with the department.

On Monday, Keyana Bravo was pronounced dead at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center after being brought there for treatment for internal injuries. Hospital officials grew suspicious and called Gresham police, who ruled the death a homicide.

Police on Thursday again declined to provide much new information, saying they were concerned the release of further details might jeopardize the investigation.

"We want an arrest and a conviction," said Sgt. Jeff Hansen of the Gresham Police Department. "That is our priority."

Moreno-Garcia and his wife, Dunia Soledad-Moreno, 29, had been foster parents to Keyana and her sister, Jasmin Hamilton, since June and had hoped to adopt the girls. The couple's birth daughters are 6 and 21/2 years old.

Moreno-Garcia, according to various reports, is related to Jasmin's biological father.

Keyana and Jasmin's birth mother, Crystal Hamilton, 21, was in seclusion Thursday, the family said.

"Crystal is obviously not doing that great," said her mother, Mary Hamilton, who said her daughter had struggled with drug problems.

Mary Hamilton, who adopted Crystal when she was five, said Keyana had been placed in foster care with another family when she was 9 months old. The girls had been with that foster couple until earlier this summer.

Amanda Hamilton, Crystal's sister, said Crystal had approved of the adoption by the Morenos.

"She is trying to deal with the situation as best as she can," Amanda Hamilton said.

ILLUSTRATION: Keyana Died from injuries

Gosia Wozniacka of The Oregonian staff contributed to this report.

Dee Anne Finken: 503-294-5972;


2006 Sep 8