Reprinted with the permission of the Atlanta Journal and the Atlanta Constitution.
New case surfaces on hotline on deaths
The GBI hotline set up to collect tips on the deaths of 13 youngsters who died after their families were reported for abuse or neglect has gotten about 300 calls in the first week, spokesman John Bankhead said Thursday.
Bankhead said investigators are still analyzing information provided by callers to see how much of it merits further investigation not only of the 13, but also of the deaths of other youngsters.
"A lot of them are just people complaining about" the Department of Family and Children Services, Bankhead said. Records of all calls are made part of the investigative files.
But Bankhead said investigators have indicated at least one call was received about a case other than the 13 "that needed to be looked at."
The hotline was set up last week after the GBI began investigating the deaths of the 13 youngsters in six different counties. Gov. Roy Barnes ordered the investigation after a series of articles in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed numerous shortcomings in the state's child protective services system. Barnes also has established an independent task force charged with recommending reforms to the system.
Bankhead said the hotline "will stay up until our job is complete." The toll-free hotline number is 1-800-254-2064.
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