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Court to DCF: ‘Astounding’ that Agency Didn’t Follow Case of At-Risk Child Whose Mother Now Says is Dead

A Miami-Dade Circuit Judge chastised the Florida Department of Children and Families Broward County office for not following more closely the case of a toddler whose mother now reports the child has died.

According to news reports, after Judge Cindy Lederman learned that Broward DCF was not monitoring the family, whose children had previously been removed following the mother’s arrest, the judge said, “It seems like someone in Broward is sleeping, all the priors here and nothing was done. It’s astounding, quite frankly.”

The events unfolded as the mother told the court the child, Angela Dufrene, who would be 2, died and her body was placed in a Dumpster eight months ago. Meanwhile, Miami homicide detectives have been searching for the child. According to the media, an anonymous tip led to an investigation by Florida DCF over the girl’s disappearance.

If true, this appears to be another case where state child protective officials have lost track of at-risk children. Child advocacy attorneys and lawyers who fight for the rights of abused, neglected or harmed children have been pushing for greater measures to ensure the health and rights of these children remain protected.

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