It's sad when a mom beats her child. What's even worse is when she chops off the child's head, puts it in the freezer and then kills herself — just five months after the state gave her custody. That's what happened to Camden, New Jersey, mom Chevonne Thomas and her 2-year-old son.
According to just-released toxicology reports, Thomas was high on marijuana laced with PCP.
Thomas, who had a history of drug use and mental illness, used a knife to kill her son and called the cops declaring that something happened to her child. The horrific phone call lasted six minutes as she admitted to stabbing her son before "breaking into a repetition of monosyllabic words and phrases," then stabbing herself, reports Citizen-Times.
Police found the decapitated body of 2-year-old Zahree Thomas on the first floor of the Camden rowhouse he shared with his mother, according to CBS News.
According to NBC 10, her parenting track record was abysmal:
[Thomas] was arrested in November 2010 on a child endangerment charge after she left Zahree in a car and lost custody of the boy. Prosecutors said that during that incident Thomas allegedly admitted to smoking PCP and marijuana. Prosecutors say the charges were dropped last October due to insufficient evidence. In April she regained custody of Zahree.
Thomas' landlord said that she was crazy and walked around talking to and cursing herself, reports CBS News. Former neighbor Thelma Moore described Thomas as being "in a world all to herself."
The crime has shocked the city and raises serious questions about the state Department of Children and Families, reports USA Today.
DCF spokeswoman Kristine Brown said "at the time the agency staff made regular visits to Thomas and offered extensive services that included counseling, medication monitoring, substance abuse testing and treatment, parental capacity evaluation. She lost custody," reports Citizen-Times.
Mary Coogan, assistant director for the Advocates for Children of New Jersey, goes on the record to say "the agency has made progress in reducing case loads and training staff. But the department has not made enough headway on engaging troubled families and quickly developing support plans for them, which are the basic tenets of good social work," reports CBS News.
Coogan's colleague, Nancy Parello, said that while the deaths of Chevonne and Zahree Thomas may not be a reflection on the entire system, it's a teaching moment.
Thomas leaves behind an 18-year-old daughter.
How can the state botch a case this badly? Let us know how you feel in the comment section.
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