NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — The Tennessee Department of Children's Services says 31 children whose care the department had under investigation died in the first half of this year.
Tennessean reporter Anita Wadhwani and state Rep. Sherry Jones partnered to bring the numbers to light.
According to Wadhwani, 10 of the children were the subjects of ongoing investigations by DCS. None of those children were more than one year old.
Wadhwani says there’s still a lot of unanswered questions, but it appears Tennessee’s neighboring states suffered far fewer deaths over the same period.
“I don’t think that people are gonna’ pick up this story and not want to know more. I think that’s the spot we’re in today. We want to figure out what this means, who these kids are, how they died, whether their deaths were preventable; and I think at this point we also want to hear from state leaders to see what they think about this.”
Among the total number of deaths were 17 children whose care had been investigated by the department at some point. Four of the children who died were in state custody at the time.