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Sep 18, 2015 6:53 PM

Great grandmother of Manchester toddler who died says DCYF failed


MANCHESTER - The great grandmother of the 21-month-old whose death was ruled a homicide said the child's family was the subject of several visits from the state Department of Children, Youth and Families.

"I think it was three or four times they were involved and they never did anything about it. How much did that little girl have to suffer? How much pain did that poor little girl have to go through that if they had done something, on the first ones, her life could have been spared," said Gwen Henley, great grandmother to Sadence Willot.

According to the state Medical Examiner's Office, Willot died of blunt force trauma to the head. Police and the Attorney General's office are investigating but no one has been arrested or charged in the toddler's death.

While police are releasing few details, it's clear the address: 437 Belmont St. - was familiar to police.

Since Jan.1 of 2013, there were 47 calls for service to the address, 13 of them leading to incident reports. How many related to the apartment where young Sadence lived is not clear. The building has three apartments.

But NH1 News is requesting those incident reports under the state's right-to-know laws to learn more.

Sources told NH1 that the girl had been badly hurt more than once in her young life and that DCYF had been involved.

Their role is protect children from abuse or neglect and prevent further harm to children from intentional physical or mental injury.

NH1 News tracked down Director Lorraine Bartlett to ask what went wrong, but Barlett declined to comment.

“I cannot speak about any case related to DCYF because of confidentiality. We are precluded from advising you whether or not we’re involved,” she said.

NH1 News will continue to investigate. Anyone with information about the child can contact the Manchester police at 603-668-8711.


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