Despite a sheriff's deputy's call to the state child abuse hot line a year and a half ago
about squalid living conditions where a 10-month-old girl was living with her mother and the mother's registered sex offender brother
, the Department of Children and Family Services failed to intervene.
The hot line case launched by a Randolph County sheriff's deputy was the first of two prior instances in two years where DCFS was notified of danger to Amanda.
One was in 2008, and the other was in February. In both cases, officials from the agency either failed to ensure that child safety measures were carried out or decided they were not needed.
Spokesmen for DCFS gave contradictory statements this week as to whether the agency even investigated when Randolph County Deputy Rick Kennedy made the hot line call
on July 29, 2008, about living conditions at a home in Coulterville.
Kendall Marlowe said no investigation occurred. Jimmie Whitelow said a limited inquiry was conducted. Both spokesmen said the matter involved a private custody issue and that the agency could not get involved. Neither mentioned anything about a registered sex offender.
Police in St. Clair County have not released the identity of Amanda's mother, who was jailed and then released regarding the current injuries to her daughter, because she has not been charged.
However, in the Randolph County sheriff's report she is listed as now 25-year-old Dawn Obptande
. She could not be reached for comment.
Her brother, Billy Obptande, who was living in the Randolph County trailer, was convicted in St. Clair County of aggravated sexual abuse for having sex with a girl who was younger than 17. He was 22 when charged. Billy Obptande was the biological father of 9-week-old Jason Smith, who was shot in the face with his mother Nicole Willyard and two of her friends by Willyard's boyfriend, Jason Smith, who is serving a life sentence for those 2005 murders in Belleville.
Whatever the DCFS investigator found at the Coulterville trailer, if anything, will never be known because the agency purges its files of all cases where child neglect is not officially determined
, said Whitelow.
However, Kennedy wrote in his report that he had learned that Amanda was in "deplorable" condition
after Dawn Obptande dropped her off with her father, Eddie Runyon. The sheriff's department report stated that Dawn Obptande told Runyon, "I can't take care of her anymore. You keep her."
Dawn Obptande showed up a few days later on July 31 demanding the return of her daughter. Runyon refused.
The incident came to the attention of deputies after Dawn Obptande called the sheriff's department and said Runyon would not return Amanda, according to the Randolph County Sheriff's Department report.
Runyon told the officer that Amanda was dirty and didn't have any clothes or diapers with her.
Kennedy then called DCFS caseworker Ken Beams, who told him to return Amanda to Dawn Obptande, the report stated.
Kennedy went to the house in Coulterville and learned Dawn Obptande lived with her brother, Billy Obptande, a sexual predator listed on the Illinois State Police sex offender web site.
Kennedy again called Beams, who then said a case would be started and a caseworker would call the family in 24 hours, according to the police report. Two days later, Kennedy wrote that he received a call from DCFS caseworker Richard Fulton, who said an investigation had been done and no threat to the child was found.