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Mass. boy feared dead; mother charged; 2 fired

Boy Feared Dead; Mother Charged; 2 Fired

BOSTON (AP) - Police in Massachusetts only recently learned that a boy whose family had been getting state social-services help has been missing since September, leading to charges against the child's mother and her boyfriend and the firing of a social worker and the worker's supervisor.

Investigators say 5-year-old Jeremiah Oliver was last seen by relatives Sept. 14 but police only learned recently of his disappearance. A prosecutor is treating Jeremiah's case as a possible homicide, and Department of Children and Families Commissioner Olga Roche called it a "deeply concerning case of neglect and abuse."

The Fitchburg boy's family had been receiving services from the department since the fall of 2011 after the agency received a report of neglect.

In June, the social worker received a message from Jeremiah's day care indicating that his mother had said it was his last day and he would be leaving for Florida to live with his grandmother, officials said. But the social worker didn't confirm the information and also failed to conduct required checks, they said.

Missing Boy-Fitchburg

"This case represents a serious failure on the part of the social worker and supervisor assigned to the family," Roche said in a written statement Tuesday. "The social worker assigned to this case did not conduct the required in-person, monthly checks on the family, as required by the Department; and the supervisor failed to enforce that policy."

Roche said the two employees, whose names were not disclosed, "have been terminated."

She said the social worker's and the supervisor's other cases are currently under review and the department is working with State Police and prosecutors on the missing boy's case.

On Monday, Jeremiah's mother Elsa Oliver, 28, was charged with two counts of reckless endangerment of a child and two counts of being an accessory after the fact. A not guilty plea was entered on her behalf, and a judge ordered her to undergo a mental competency evaluation.

Oliver's boyfriend, Alberto Sierra, 22, pleaded not guilty after being charged with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of assault and battery on a child. He is being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing.

Oliver's two other children have been placed in the custody of the Department of Children and Families.

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bizketthedog December 18 2013 at 7:48 PM

typical of the Mass. DHS...they investigated my stepson's mother for 14 months before they finally took the child away, but by that time he was brain damaged...as for us getting custody, they advised we go thru the courts and they would hand the boy over to us if they took him before the court granted us custody. Seeing as we were out of state and the mother kept asking for continuances from the judge, it wasnt before the 2&1/2 year old non verbal child was out at 7am unattended, walking beside a river bank before they took him away. Then they made us wait 9 months with him in foster care so his mother could have a chance to get him back before they finally gave him to us...I have never seen a more inept operation ion my life

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MommaWolf December 18 2013 at 12:46 PM

This job can be over whelming at times but clearly the supervisor and cps worker were negligent and should be made accountable for lack of action.The monsters that could do this to a child need to be PROSECUTED and LOCKED away for a long time.I guess some counseling is in order,parenting classes,anger management.

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bowlr6565 December 18 2013 at 12:46 PM

It's cases like this that give all Social Workers and public agencies bad publicity. Please place the blame where it lies with THIS Social Worker and not ALL Social Workers.

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1 reply
Kate bowlr6565 December 18 2013 at 2:01 PM

I agree. Most social workers are extremely dedicated and hard working. It can be a very difficult job, too, because most agencies are underfunded and understaffed.

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Carol December 18 2013 at 12:45 PM

After reports of abuse, why was the child sent back to this home? These kinds of lowlife trash do not change just because you slap them on the wrist and scold them. To top it off, I would be willing to bet they live on assistance. Are they even legal? There needs to be extreme prosecution of folks that harm children, particularly their own. Instead they will get charged with a lesser charge, spend a litle time in jail, get back out and let the government support them again

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1 reply
Christina Carol December 18 2013 at 1:12 PM

The report was not for abuse, it was for neglect. That can mean lack of food, education, shelter or clothing. Thats why they started to received assistance. Huge difference between abuse and neglect.

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wayne December 18 2013 at 12:24 PM

You can't trust CPS anymore they don't do their job. They let this little boy be abused. Now he is missing and presumed dead. I hope the mother and boyfriend get life or death and the social workers get life sentences. They are underpaid liars who abuse money and tear innocent families apart.

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cvetteb December 18 2013 at 12:19 PM

The bottom line is some people just shouldn't be having children. Then the good tax paying citizens become responsible for them??? There's going to be lawsuits, etc..... and we all pay for that. Its tragic about the boy and I hope he is found safe.

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chasesea December 18 2013 at 12:03 PM

Most social workers are useless and do NOT do their jobs correctly; just taking up space and collecting a paycheck. It's about time some of these idiots were fired. This country needs to wake up when it comes to child services.

As far as the worthless POS mother, put her down like the dog she is. Same for the scumbag BF; break his leg and then shoot him. I'll bet the child is deceased. Sounds like another Casey Anthony saga...murder your child but pretend he/she is alive ("moving to Florida). MA needs to bring back the death penalty.

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saddletramp4440 December 18 2013 at 11:46 AM

to much power in the government's system. If the social worker was empowered with Jeremiah's safety & well being, then she also, is guilty of every charge. There is a lot of constant violence going on in the northeast & in the southwest, If those citizens don't get rid of their mooching, no caring, backward acting politicians, and get somebody in office, that will engage ALL problematic area's then I guess, the EVIL will continue to grow until it implodes, & eventually IT will implode. But, That Won't Help, LITTLE JEREMIAH, IT TAKES A S!!!T EATING ,sorry, lowdown, slimy, no good, cowardly, scatter brained, worthless son of a %$#@!~ to hurt a child, I wouldn't have any problem spending .357 to put IT down

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1 reply
chasesea saddletramp4440 December 18 2013 at 12:04 PM

Her and many other bags of sh*t. Blow their heads off. Done.

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ljconner December 18 2013 at 11:45 AM

Both the DHS worker and the supervisor should be on trial next. If this little boy has been murdered, then both should face the same charges.

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Willow December 18 2013 at 11:38 AM

She hid information and she would be just a guilty as if someone else did the deed! Lock her up and throw away the key!

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