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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Fifth child dies in South Florida despite warnings to DCF



Angel VillegasA Homestead man has been charged with shaking his 2-year-old son to death last week — one month after state child welfare administrators gave him custody of the toddler even though he was unemployed, living in a one-bedroom home with eight other children, had been repeatedly accused of domestic violence and had admitted to child-welfare authorities that he had “an anger issue.”

Two-year-old Jayden Antonio Villegas-Morales became the fifth Florida youngster to die since May after having already come to the attention of state child-protection administrators.

The deaths may also have claimed the job of Department of Children & Families Secretary David Wilkins, who had been Gov. Rick Scott’s longest-serving agency head.

Wilkins abruptly resigned last week amid a growing scandal over the deaths of children whose safety had already been investigated by DCF.

Jayden’s father, 29-year-old Angel Luis Villegas,  (photo) was charged Sunday with second-degree murder. More from Carol Marbin Miller

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 11:30am]


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