DCFS: Prior report of abuse of Oak Forest girl who died
BY MIKE NOLAN and CASEY TONER firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com April 2, 2013 4:18PM
Updated: May 4, 2013 6:27AM
A week before a 3-year-old Oak Forest girl died as a result of head trauma, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services received a report of alleged abuse involving the girl.
Oak Forest Police were contacted March 19 by DCFS following a report the agency received of bruises on Gina Presley’s body, Sgt. Tom Lynch said Tuesday. Police were asked to check on the well-being of the girl, who was in the custody of her aunt.
Police had been asked to take Gina to a local hospital if they found the girl, but when police went to the home in the 15300 block of Walnut Road, where the girl was living with her aunt, there was no answer and the home was dark, Lynch said.
He said police did not make a subsequent attempt to locate the girl.
A spokesman for DCFS, David Clarkin, said Monday he couldn’t elaborate on the report the agency received March 19 about the girl or who contacted his agency.
Jessie Rodriguez, a Chicago man who is the boyfriend of the aunt, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the girl’s March 26 death.
Oak Forest paramedics were called to the home that day for a report of a girl who was choking. Paramedics found Gina unresponsive and took her to Palos Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead about 11:30 p.m., police said.
The Cook County medical examiner’s office determined the girl died from head trauma caused by child abuse.
Police took Rodriguez and the girl’s aunt into custody Thursday for questioning, ultimately releasing the aunt without charges.
Neighbors who knew the girl and her guardian said Gina had recently celebrated her birthday with a trip to a pizza restaurant.
Annette Boyle, a friend of Gina’s aunt, described her as a loving person who had taken custody of Gina when the baby was just a few months old. Boyle said her friend had been trying to adopt the little girl.