Monroe County: No reports of violence by mother against her children before her son's murder

April 10, 2018 07:12 PM

Today, Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo launched an investigation into the county's Child Protective Services operation after the murder of 7-year old Abraham Cardenas last week in his home just outside Brockport. 

The county says it is illegal to reveal child protective service cases but a day after Cardenas' murder, the County Executive ordered a preliminary review to see if the county had any involvement with his family. And because of that review and advice from the state, the County Executive has now ordered a full investigation of what role, if any, the county played.

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Abraham Cardenas was murdered Thursday night. The Monroe County Sheriff says his mother -- Hanane Mouhib -- did it. News10NBC learned that Mouhib called 911 twice in March complaining of mental health problems and that she was in the hospital from March 8th to the 26th. Abraham was killed less than two weeks after his mother got discharged.  

Again, the county will not say if child protective services was involved. 

Cheryl Dinolfo, Monroe County Executive: "I do however believe that this case is so shocking and appalling that it deserves our full attention."

The investigators picked by the County Executive include the County's Commissioner of Human Services Corinda Crossdale, who did reveal this about Abraham's mother. 
Corinda Crossdale, Commissioner Dept. of Human Services: "At no time did CPS have information to reflect that the mother involved in this matter was a violent risk to her children."
Brean: "If you can't reveal whether or not the county had any involvement with this family, how can you say affirmatively there was no violence between the mother and child prior to Thursday?" 

Corinda Crossdale, Commissioner Dept. of Human Services: "Any reports of violence between any child and anyone in the community would be reported to the state central registry. There were no reports to the state's central registry with regard to abuse by mom."
Brean: "Had you had any contact with Hanane Mouhib prior to Thursday?"

Mike Davis, Monroe County Attorney: "Again, that question is specific to whether or not CPS would have records or had contact about that and that would be confidential information."

One of the programs under review is called Family Assessment Response or FAR. It's an intervention with a family but not a full-on CPS investigation. That program is now suspended. 

The County Executive wants the review done in 45 days. 

The State Office of Children and Family Services issued this statement today: 

"We at OCFS are shocked and saddened by this child's tragic and horrific death. OCFS has directed an immediate and comprehensive safety review, and will be directly involved by providing assistance and oversight of the review. Pending the outcome, the state will commence additional actions as needed. Monroe County's Department of Human Services has been under a corrective action plan since 2015, following a review of its child protective services program. OCFS suspended the Family Assessment Response (FAR) program due to our ongoing concerns."

OCFS says 21 counties have the FAR program. Only the one in Monroe County is suspended. 

Today we also asked Sheriff Todd Baxter if he or his office was alerted when Mouhib was discharged from the hospital. Remember, it was his deputies who made the mental hygiene arrest of Mouhib and took her to RGh after her second 911 call in March. 

Brean: "Was your office contacted when Hanane Mouhib was discharged from the hospital?"

Sheriff Todd Baxter: "No, I don't believe we were ever contacted."
The sheriff told me part of what he calls the long term investigation will look into who had contact with Mouhib and who knew she got out of the hospital. 

Brean: "Based on how or why she got to the hospital, do you think your office should have been notified?"

Baxter: "I think as we put the pieces together of this investigation, of other horrific investigations, I think what we're seeing here is that need for what we've been calling a threat assessment team, the people that break down silos and talk to each other when we see a potential threat."

Sheriff Baxter did say his investigators are not finding evidence that Mouhib was planning on hurting her children. 


Berkeley Brean

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