Woman Petitions OK Governor To Investigate Her Brother's Death

Monday, December 2nd 2013, 5:37 pm
By: News 9

The sister of a special needs 15-year-old is calling on Governor Fallin to investigate his death.

She claims he died after years of neglect that went uninvestigated by DHS. Now she has started a nationwide petition on her brothers behalf.

So far the online petition has been signed by nearly 430,000 supporters from across the country. Valerie Wood-Harber says her brother Quinten lived in deplorable conditions, and was neglected by her father.

But it's not her father she's after. She blames DHS.

"I counted on them, and they failed," said Valerie Wood-Harber.

Fifteen-year-old Quinten Wood was born with Chromosome 9 Ring, a rare chromosomal abnormality. He was unable to walk, talk or care for himself.

"I do believe my father neglected Quinten to the point of death. I think he needs to answer to what he did," said Wood-Harber. "But, that's not my goal, my goal is to keep this from happening to other kids."

Wood-Harber has started a nationwide campaign in honor of Quinten, and is petitioning for Governor Mary Fallin's support. She's posted Quinten's story on several social media websites which has been shared by more than 500,000 people.

Justice for Quinton Facebook Page

For three weeks, Valerie says she called Child Welfare Services at least once a day to report alleged neglect in her father's Oklahoma City home. Quinten lived with his 14-year-old brother Cameron who Valerie says was his primary caretaker. She says Cameron was cooking for, bathing and even diapering his special needs brother.

"The house was just covered in human and animal filth," said Wood-Harber.

Despite promises by a DHS social worker assigned to the case, Valerie says there was never a home visit. Quinten died January 4, 2013.

Wood-Harber says even though her brother appeared sluggish, and lost a significant amount of weight, her father never took him to the doctor.

"I called DHS many times and told his school to be on the lookout for any signs of neglect or abuse more than a year before his actual death," said Wood-Harber. "They reported nothing, even though they did see him coming to school continuously with dirty diapers from the day before, wearing the same clothes he wore the day before, smelling like urine and feces, losing weight, being very lethargic and not energetic at all. He was sad, and that wasn't like Quinten at all."

Sign the online petition.

"Quinten's death has been heart breaking on many levels and our investigations of his case are continuing," said Sheree Powell, Dir. of Communications and Community Relations, OK Dept. of Human Services. "We are working alongside the Oklahoma City Police Department, the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth, the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office, and Children's Hospital to closely examine the actions and events that led up to Quinten's death. When the investigations are completed, we will release a report summarizing our agency's involvement in this case. Our Advocate General continues to pursue justice for Quinten."

A spokesperson with Gov. Fallin's office says they're aware of the petition and monitoring its progress, but have not responded to it. The governor's staff has requested more information from DHS.

Oklahoma City police tell us they have an open investigation in this case, but no arrest have been made.