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Deceased child described as emaciated


Cleburne couple's remaining children placed in foster care

By Matt Smith/msmith@trcle.com

A judge ordered a Cleburne couple’s seven remaining children into foster care Monday after their 4-year-old adopted son died at home on Friday. The children range in age from 1 to 12.

The cause of the boy’s death remains to be determined pending toxicology and histology tests, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s website.

Cleburne police and firefighters responded at 11:30 a.m. Friday to Odell Avenue on a report of a child not breathing and found the boy, Buddy Cook, already deceased.

Cook was in the back of a CareFlite ambulance when firefighters arrived and rescue workers attempted unsuccessfully to revive him.

The mother, Angel Cook, told rescue workers the boy was seen alive about 6:30 a.m. that morning, according to Cleburne Fire Department reports.

She said he had a history of psychiatric disorders, including Reactive Attachment Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She said he would injure himself and did not eat on a regular basis, according to reports.

Angel Cook said she and her husband adopted the child from her husband’s half-sister who had been abusive to the boy, according to reports.

She said he had not been to a doctor’s office or hospital in 18 to 24 months.

Rescue workers noted a purple and yellow bruise on the boy’s forehead above his right eye, as well as small lacerations near his eye and both ears, small cuts and bruising to his left leg and bruising and depressions on both upper extremities identical in size and location, according to reports.

Rescue workers estimated that the boy weighed 22 to 26 pounds and was wearing a diaper.

413th District Court Judge Bill Bosworth said an adversary hearing has been scheduled for 3 p.m. April 8 at which time representatives from the state and the boy’s family will be able to present evidence about whether the remaining children should remain in foster care or be returned to the family.

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services officials received reports of physical neglect of Buddy Cook by his parents, according to the affidavit in support of removal filed in the 413th Court. Angel Cook and her 10-year-old son found Buddy unresponsive in the home and it is believed, according to the CPS allegations in the affidavit, that he died of “malnourishment.” Cleburne police officials said the home is clean and contains ample food, according to the affidavit. The affidavit states that Buddy was very skinny, with bruise-like marks around his wrists that appear as though “they could have been restraint marks.”

A call to Angel Cook was unreturned by Tuesday’s press deadline.

2013 Mar 26