Michael Brown died on May 19, 2008. He was placed in the foster care of Suzanne Listro and had lived with Listro for a week before dying of blunt trauma to the head. Listro had only recently been licensed as a foster care provider and Michael was her first foster child. Listro was allowed to become a foster parent despite two previous allegations of abuse involving an adopted child since 2006. The prior abuse investigations that were determined to be unsubstantiated are now subjects under investigation. Susan Hamilton, the DCF Commissioner says the prior investigations of abuse involving Listro were substandard and plans for disciplinary action to be taken against the investigator and the manager that are responsible for both investigations.
New reports reveal that Listro was employed with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families as a children’s services consultant for fifteen years. Listro told authorities that Michael fell off of the bed, hit the floor, lost consciousness and stopped breathing. The medical examiner determined that the cause of Michael’s death was not consistent with Listra’s story.
According to the CDC, 1,490 children died from abuse and neglect in the Unites States for the year 2004. This number decreased in 2005 to 1,460 deaths. Greater than 75% of these deaths occurred in children under four years of age. A total of 872,000 children were reportedly abused in that same time frame. In 2005, child protective services investigated 3.6 million cases of reported child abuse complaints, which resulted in discovery of 899,000 cases of child abuse.
Females have demonstrated a more frequent tendency to abuse and are generally younger in age than male adult abusers. However male adult abusers inflict more severe abuse outcomes.