DHS Had Looked Into Injuries Before Child's Death

Tuesday, May 6th 2008, 10:35 pm
By: News On 6

There are new developments in the murder of a Jenks toddler.  Before 2-year-old Skyler Roininen died of a traumatic head injury, Oklahoma social workers did have contact with his family.  The News On 6's Ashli Sims has obtained a copy of the Department of Human Services' report.

Skyler Roininen was killed about six weeks ago.  His father's girlfriend is charged with his murder.  We now have a report that says DHS was contacted in February, because Skyler had an unusual injury.

Skyler Roininen was laid to rest last month, but the details of what happened to the Jenks toddler continue to unfold.  Police responded to his house on March 27th to find the toddler unresponsive.  He died the next day.  An autopsy revealed the boy had an eight-inch crack in his skull.

His father's live-in girlfriend, Ashley Parnell, was arrested and charged with first degree murder.

Oklahoma's Department of Human Services is now investigating Skyler's death.  But, The News On 6 has learned that the agency had contact with Skyler's family about a month and a half before the toddler's death.

In a report, DHS says they were contacted on February 19th, because Skyler was diagnosed with a broken arm.

The report says the injury was unusual, because the break was high on his upper arm.  The person who reported the injury told DHS neither Skyler's father nor his girlfriend could say how Skyler was hurt.  DHS says the doctor called the injury suspicious, but said it was unclear if it was abuse.

According to a report, a case worker followed up with Skyler's family the next day.  Over the next six weeks, DHS interviewed Parnell, Skyler's father, Robert Roininen, and the boy's mother.  A case worker says Parnell denied knowing how Skyler was hurt, stating the "boy might have fallen off the stairs."           

DHS visited Skyler at day care in mid-March, calling him clean and appropriately dressed.

When Skyler was hospitalized, his mother told DHS she had seen bruises on the toddler in the past and one on his eye in the last month.

While Skyler fought for his life, DHS got a medical report that said his broken arm wasn't "particularly suspicious."

The News On 6 contacted Ashley Parnell's attorney, who says they have no comment.  Parnell's preliminary hearing is set for the end of this month.