ATLANTA,None - An Atlanta man is behind bars after being charged with the murder of a 4-year-old boy.
The boy's death is one of dozens a Channel 2 investigation found among kids with connections to the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services.
Michael Williams remains in the Fulton County Jail. Atlanta police arrested him Tuesday night for the murder of Nasir Patrick, 4.
DFCS has already admitted caseworkers dropped the
ball. Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Aaron Diamant asked the state to see their personnel files.
Keisha Durueke, Nasir Patrick's aunt, called the last month a nightmare.
"I'm really still trying to figure out how did we get here? How did this happen?" Durueke said.
Officials said Nasir died from a blow to the head. Durueke's pregnant sister, Yakeera Patrick, is charged with child cruelty, and her sister's boyfriend, Michael Williams, is charged with killing Nasir.
"I think a lot of things could have been avoided, you know, such as his murder," Durueke said.
Nasir is one of 35 children with connections to
DFCS who have died since Dec. 1, a Channel 2 investigation found.
"We all should learn a valuable lesson," Durueke said.
Three caseworkers were eventually fired for not checking up on
Nasir, even though they suspected abuse in his mother's home.
Tuesday, the state's Child Advocate, Tonya Boga, told Diamant, "I think that that was a good message to send of zero tolerance."
After filing an open records request for the caseworkers' personnel
files, Diamant found one of them, Mary Floyd, received a written reprimand last May for "unprofessional behavior," in which a supervisor noted her "failure to meet mandatory visitation requirements."
Meantime Durueke said she'll seek custody of Nasir's sister, Joy, and his unborn brother.
"As an auntie, as a family member, you know, that's something I have to do. That's something I want to do to protect the kids," Durueke said.
Nasir's sister is currently in DFCS custody.
Meanwhile, their mother, who is pregnant, is in police custody at Grady Hospital.
Family members said she had a panic attack shortly after her arrest.
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