Watch CBS News

Child Protective Services failed to intervene after Malinda Hoagland's "illegal absences" from school

Child Protective Services failed to intervene before Malinda Hoagland's death
Child Protective Services failed to intervene before Malinda Hoagland's death 06:58

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Protective measures were in place to keep 12-year-old Malinda Hoagland away from Cindy Warren before the child was tortured to death.

RELATED: Warning signs missed in starvation death of 12-year-old Malinda Hoagland, CBS News Philadelphia investigation finds

A 2020 custody order CBS News Philadelphia obtained spelled it out in black and white:

"The minor child shall not be left in the care of Cindy Warren, Father's fiancé, for any period of time exceeding one (1) hour unless expressly agreed upon by Mother and Father through written communication."

According to the police, Malinda was living with her father and his girlfriend, Cindy Warren, and according to lawyers for the family -- this violated the custody order.

Alexandria Crouthamel and Tom Bosworth are attorneys representing Malinda's estate, as well as Malinda's three older half-sisters.

"One of the things that almost threw me out of my chair was when Allie [Crouthamel] sent me a court order from Monroe County years ago in 2020, in black and white, saying that Cindy Warren cannot be there with this child, Malinda," Bosworth said. "Because Monroe County was already clued into the fact that she was living with Malinda and that she had this history."   

Cindy Warren speaks following arrest in 12-year-old Malinda Hoagland's death 00:57

Warning: Descriptions of what happened to Malinda contain graphic and disturbing details of child abuse.

Cindy Warren's history of abuse

Bosworth is referring to Warren's guilty plea back in 2007 for felony child endangerment for the abuse of her 3-year-old child in Monroe County. Warren was sentenced to three to seven years in jail for endangering the 3-year-old.

At the time in 2007, Warren was married to a man named McKinley Warren.

He was charged in a completely separate cold case from the year 2000, where prosecutors say he beat his 2-year-old daughter, Jessica Bock, to death. 

McKinley Warren pleaded guilty and was given 50 years in prison.

Only weeks ago, Monroe County District Attorney Mike Mancuso took to Facebook saying the courts had removed children from Cindy Warren's custody following the death of 2-year-old Jessica Bock, a death she was not charged in connection with.

Mancuso, via Zoom, spoke about the similarities with the case in Chester County and how, in his post, he wrote Cindy Warren had the ability to hide her conduct from social workers back then.

Commonwealth v. Cindy Warren and Rendell Hoagland Chester County During the early morning hours of Sunday May 5th,...

Posted by Monroe County Office of the District Attorney on Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Chester County investigators said Cindy Warren and Rendell Hoagland secluded Malinda from mandated reporters and others who would have been able to help.

"I, too, thought that there were some red flags there. Now, again, that's hindsight, but I'm sure everybody involved in that line of work is, is regretting, perhaps not taking more action to ensure that... somebody had eyes on that child, or what was going on," Mancuso said.

In 2020, Cindy Warren would meet Rendell Hoagland and his daughter Malinda. Sometime in 2022, police said the couple moved with Malinda to Chester County.

Despite that 2020 custody order which severely restricted Cindy Warren's contact with Malinda, the 12-year-old lived with Cindy Warren, along with her father and one of Cindy Warren's children until her death in May, according to police.

Our investigation and information from documents, records and multiple interviews revealed missed red flags -- from a custody order to reports from Malinda's middle school to Child Protective Services.

"I don't know of a case with more of a monumental breakdown in communication and protection in Pennsylvania when it comes to child abuse than this case," Bosworth said.

Arrest papers for Rendell Hoagland and Cindy Warren indicate Malinda was pulled out of North Brandywine Middle School in November 2023. She was eventually withdrawn from the Coatesville School District on January 3, 2024.

CBS News Investigations obtained school records showing Malinda had so-called "illegal absences" dating back more than a year.

In May, the school district released a statement about Malinda's death:

"Our staff diligently reported concerns about her welfare to the state agency that receives and manages concerns. Shortly thereafter, she was withdrawn from our schools."

Sources close to the investigation confirm Chester County Children, Youth and Families (CYF) was notified by the school district and in statements he allegedly made to police in connection with his arrest for attempted homicide, Rendell Hoagland admitted CYF contacted him by phone only and never came to the house.

"This is systemic, humiliating abuse of a child that professionals who are here to protect kids could and should detect through a home visit. That's why we have home visits," Bosworth said. "There were these calls from the school, all these red flags and thinking about the court order, it was eerie to read it given what's happened."

Once Malinda was withdrawn from public school in January, Hoagland allegedly told investigators she enrolled in cyber school – but police wrote in an affidavit of probable cause requesting the arrests for an attempted homicide charge last month, other than logging in for school zooms and likely seeing friends, Hoagland said he couldn't provide details of any interactions Malinda had outside the home after January.

Attorneys for the family said given the custody order, Warren's history of a child endangerment conviction, and calls to CYF – there should have been follow-ups by Child Protective Services.

"This should have never happened. There shouldn't be a discussion about how many missed opportunities there were here," Bosworth said. "If we go the way we're going, there's going to be another Malinda Hoagland case."

 A spokesperson for Chester County's CYF said there is profound sadness with this case, writing in a statement:

"As required by law, CYF has convened a review team and an official report reflecting the findings will be developed. Due to the confidential nature of child protection cases such as this, we cannot comment further on any aspects of Malinda's case."

Sources said at some point, charges against Rendell Hoagland and Cindy Warren will be upgraded to murder.

Attempts to reach attorneys for both were unsuccessful. Each remains behind bars on a $1 million bond. Their next court appearance is July 8 at a magisterial district court in Honey Brook.

Pennsylvania community comes together to mourn, remember girl who died after alleged abuse 02:15
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.