June 12, 2008

Battered Indiana Mom Plans Suit in Baby's Foster Care Death

The mother of Destiny Linden, a 7-week-old Indianapolis girl who died April 29 while in the state foster care system, has notified the Indiana Department of Child Services that she plans to file a wrongful-death lawsuit against the agency. At the heart of Randi Linden’s claim: Destiny was improperly removed from her by DCS, which led to the baby’s death.

In court records, DCS officials claimed they had to remove Destiny because Linden failed to protect the child when she refused to go to a domestic violence shelter or press criminal charges against Michael Carter Love, Destiny's father, for an alleged assault in early April. Three days after DCS placed Destiny in the home of Indianapolis foster parents Everett and Kim Coleman, she was found unconscious in an adult bed. Destiny never regained consciousness and was kept on life support systems for five days before she was pronounced dead.

In a letter to the Marion County Prosecutor, Indianapolis Attorney Lee, who filed the tort claim for Linden, said he thinks Love should have been criminally charged in the alleged assault of Linden — which would have eliminated the need for Destiny to be removed from her mother. The letter states Linden refused to press charges because Love threatened her if she cooperated with police or prosecutors, but that investigators never made an attempt to determine why she was refusing to move forward with charges after filing an initial police report.

Read the full story here.

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