DHS Declines To Release Some Facts In Child's Death

Friday, March 23rd 2007, 9:56 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A 3-year-old boy who drowned in a bathtub in his home Wednesday had been removed from the residence along with two siblings just five days earlier when police found them living in squalid conditions.

Oklahoma Department of Human Services officials say they are prohibited by law from disclosing why the children were allowed to return to the home so quickly.

Police say William Barnard drowned after his mother, 25-year-old Alzaina Barnard, left the bathroom to prepare an infant bottle. Barnard found her son, who had Down syndrome, unconscious when she returned.

Police went to the house on March 16th in response to a call that the boy's 5-year-old sister was missing. Officers eventually found the girl under a pile of clothes on a couch.

Police say an ambulance was called to the scene because William Barnard had not received proper follow-up care after being released from a hospital March 14th after developing pneumonia.

The police report notes that the children were placed in protective custody.