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CBS4 Investigates: Mother Of Dead Child Has History With DCF

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The lifeless body of a three-year-old boy, who was allegedly tortured by his own mother, has shocked many facets of the community, including veterans of the North Miami Police Department that are investigating the case.

"The child had trauma over every inch of his body," said North Miami Police Major Neal Cuevas.

According to his department's investigative report, obtained by CBS4 News, three-year-old Ghanson Debrosse's mother had used a lighter to set his private parts on fire to stop him from urinating.

The child was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital North Tuesday where he was pronounced dead. Doctors believe the boy had been dead for at least three hours.

"In terms of what happened to this little boy, absolutely it's one of the worst we have seen. One of the worst we have seen in a long, long time," said Carol Marbin Miller , a reporter with CBS4's news partners the Miami Herald, in an interview with CBS4.

Miller is digging once again to find out the extent of the Florida  Department of Children and Families involvement with three-year-old Ghanson's family. There are many questions, but what is clear is the shocking reported nature of the violence against the child.

"You don't see many cases where mothers torture their own small children—but for a mother to use that much violence on a small child—is pretty rare," said Miller.

Records show that Debrosse's mother, 21-year-old Fafane Caze who is now under arrest, was also arrested in 2010 for allegedly violently, fighting with the boy's father, reportedly trying to throw the child at him. The final criminal disposition of that case is unclear—but what is clear is that DCF did get involved, and recommended family services to improve parenting skills. At the time, family protective services reported that Ghanson was free from marks and bruises.

READ: More Charges Expected Against Mother Charged In Son's Death

"I think there is room for difference of opinion as to whether the prior abuse reports involving Ghanson were handled properly," said Miller.

Miller also said that DCF had three prior calls to the hotline.

DCF declined Gillen's request for an interview Wednesday, but interim secretary Esther Jacobo did release a statement Tuesday that reads in part:

"My heart is breaking for this child. As we continue to investigate and work with law enforcement, it is evident that Ghanson had a very tragic and tortured life which ended far too soon. Although we had contact with Ghanson and his family when he was an infant, we received no reports since that time and no one could have predicted this heartbreaking tragedy."

Attention is now being focused on the boy's mother, Caze. It's reported that when she was a young girl, her father sent her to Haiti but she returned to Florida.

"Her father described her as a troubled child I believe the word he used was ungovernable," said Miller. "He said that he had sent her to live in Haiti which is fairly common in that culture especially involving children who are considered to be very difficult."

Police said Caze confessed after 12 hours of questioning at the North Miami Police Department. During her confession, investigators said Caze showed no remorse and seemed more concerned about her arrest than the fact that she wouldn't be able to see her two other children. According to police reports one of those siblings, a little girl, was found with bruises and abrasions on her back. Tonight both children are in the custody of DCF.


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