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Advocates Wonder About Another Lost in South Florida Child Protection Maze

Several years ago, Rilya Wilson went missing while under the care of a foster parent – and the apparent watchful eyes of Florida Department of Children and Families case workers. Now, word has emerged that Dontrell Melvin hasn’t been seen by county and regional child protective services since summer 2011.

Another child slipped through the cracks and is lost. The news raises serious questions about the Florida Department of Children and Families, its children hotline and the wisdom of recent budget cuts. To be sure, these two cases are dissimilar. Rilya was in foster care; Dontrell is more a case of investigative woes by the Broward Sheriff’s Office and Child Net’s failure to provide protective services.

Yet, the end result is the same. A child is missing – and no one knows where he or she is. Read the story here.

More to the point, in the case of little Dontrell, no one even looked for about 18 months. Now, Hallandale Beach Police are on the hunt.

Unlike Rilya’s case, where her foster mother, Geralyn Graham is being tried in Rilya’s purported death (as no body ever has been found), one can only hope for a positive outcome. UPDATE: Police on Friday reportedly found human remains in the Melvin yard.

Still, police are asking anyone who knows anything of Dontrell’s whereabouts or details to call 954-457-1400 or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.

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