One day after an 18-month-old boy was found dead in a Rowlett landfill there are many questions about what Child Protective Services may or may not have known about this case in the days and months leading up to the boy’s death.
Cedric “CJ” Jackson Jr’s body was found Thursday, one day after an Amber Alert was issued due to a reported abduction. Police later arrested the aunt’s boyfriend, Sedrick Johnson.
Johnson, 27, faces a charge of felony injury to a child. That’s Johnson's latest arrest in a long criminal history that includes pleading guilty to abandoning a child with intent to return and recently he faces allegations for biting his wife.
Johnson told police he would often tightly swaddle the toddler because the boy once "made a mess" in the middle of the night with ketchup packets, arrest records show.
The boy was “swaddled in his blanket on the floor, at the foot of the bed," Johnson told police, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
He said he swaddled the child nightly to restrict the toddler’s movements after the ketchup packet incident, the arrest warrant said.
The child had only lived in the home since May 21, records show.
Johnson told detectives the boy started making noise at 12:30 a.m. When he unwrapped the toddler from his swaddle, Cedric started throwing up, court records show.
The man said he performed CPR for at least 30 minutes but Cedric did not wake up. Johnson told police he then took the boy's body to a dumpster in northeast Dallas, where he left the child, the warrant says. The warrant alleges Johnson injured Cedric "by compressing his airways."
CJ stayed in an apartment with six other children.
WFAA reached out to a CPS spokesperson and asked if it is acceptable to place a child where six kids already live, if they knew about the boyfriend’s criminal history and if they do a site survey of the place where they place the child.
CPS said they can’t comment on the specifics of what they did or did not know prior to placing the child in this home.
Donnielle Kennedy is a former CPS employee. Though she no longer works for CPS she offered insight into the general process they follow.
She said when it comes to the number of kids in a home the priority is that kids have appropriate sleeping arrangements.
“Meaning that you have a bed for them, it could be a bed or air mattress,” Kennedy said. “We just want to make sure that there area where they are going to be at is nice enough for them to sleep at night.”
She also said if CPS handled it correctly they would have done a site survey as well as extensive financial and criminal background checks.
So it begs the question, 'Was it likely that CPS knew of the boyfriend’s criminal history?'
Kennedy says it depends on whether or not the aunt alerted them about her boyfriend. If she did tell CPS about him, they should have performed a background check.
“If anything did show up, anything dealing with assault of children, sexual, aggravated assault, it would have been discussed with the supervisor and probably would have found another home, someone else to take the child,” Kennedy said.
“Or put like a safety plan, meaning that if this person is going to be around this child, we need to make sure that the contact is always going to be supervised, the child cannot be left alone in a room with this person," Kennedy said.
Whether or not they told CPS about it, is yet to be determined.
“It’s just very sad and unfortunate,” Kennedy said.