Less than a month before Aqueline Talamantes was arrested for the murder of her 5-year-old daughter, Tatiana, Sacramento County Child Protective Services received a report questioning her mental health and her ability to take care of Tatiana and her son. The agency did not pursue the report beyond leaving a card on the door of Talamantes’ apartment.

Family and friends repeatedly warned Sacramento County Child Protective Services that 3-year-old Airabella Mello suffered from abuse and neglect in the year before she drowned in a backyard pool.

CPS repeatedly recorded inaccurate information, failed to include domestic-abuse reports against the father and omitted the mother's own history of childhood abuse, The Bee found in a review of William Philyaw's 257-page case file.

Sacramento County Child Protective Services continues to make mistakes in cases that end up in death or near death, according to an independent report presented to supervisors Tuesday.

The public is welcome to attend a brief burial service for a newborn whose body was found earlier this summer in a Roseville park.

In April 2012, five months before Ryder Salmen was killed by a drug overdose – the result of breast-feeding by his drug-abusing mother, police say – he was the subject of a report to Sacramento County Child Protective Services.

Three weeks before he allegedly murdered his 9-year-old son with a hatchet, Phillip Raymond Hernandez was the subject of a complaint to Sacramento County Child Protective Services alleging that he neglected his two boys.

In 2011, Sacramento County Child Protective Services allowed three young children to be placed in their grandmother's home where a registered sex offender lived, records show.

After learning that a social worker responsible for investigating child abuse had reportedly abused children herself, Sacramento County officials ordered a review of some of the cases she had investigated.

Sacramento County has fired a Child Protective Services investigator because she allegedly abused children in her foster home, used a county car to commute to work each day and counted the commutes on her timecard, records show.

The search for Dwight Stallings, the Sacramento child last seen 18 months ago, has hit a dead end with no new leads and some county officials now refusing to discuss the case.

While missing children's cases often spiral into national news, with breathless updates and live video footage, the strange story of Dwight Stalling's disappearance has largely stayed off that grid.

Almost half of Sacramento County's child abuse investigators were unavailable to handle cases in the last fiscal year, according to a report presented Tuesday.

His mother couldn't be bothered to show up in court, opting to remain in her jail cell rather than talk about her missing son.

The mother of a missing 2-year-old boy saluted reporters and photographers in court Wednesday with her middle finger before pleading guilty to six counts of violating probation.

Sacramento County officials are seeking an order to force the mother of Dwight Stallings, the missing 2-year-old who has not been seen in more than a year, to be removed from her jail cell and brought to dependency court to tell what she knows.

The family of a missing 2-year-old boy insisted Tuesday they know nothing of the child's whereabouts and denounced as fantasy the mother's tale that she left him with two burqa-clad women in a Nevada motel parking lot last year.

In 2007, the state Department of Social Services revoked the foster care license of a Vallejo woman whom the agency accused of locking children in her garage "for hours without food or water" and taunting one foster boy with the words "faggot" and "queer."

Homicide detectives have taken over the lead role in the investigation of missing 22-month-old Dwight Stallings.

Despite the fact that her infant son hadn't been seen by family members or authorities for at least two months, a drug- using mother was ordered released from jail in June by the Sacramento County Juvenile Court, The Bee has learned.

Tanisha Edwards, whose missing 22-month-old son Dwight Stallings is at the center of an aggressive search by local officials, admitted to investigators that she was trying to hide the baby from social workers because she had failed drug tests, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday.

Calling it a "tragic case," Sacramento County sheriff's and Child Protective Services officials insisted late Tuesday that they are taking aggressive action to find a 22-month-old boy who has been missing for nearly a year.

Law enforcement authorities are worried that a baby boy last seen 11 months ago may be dead, and they say Sacramento County Child Protective Services failed for all that time to alert them the boy was missing.

Michelle Callejas said her previous jobs in human services at the county and a nonprofit agency have made her committed to the cause of children and families.

John and Kathyrn Clark thought their lives were in danger when they were contacted, out of the blue, by their adopted son's biological mother. In a lawsuit, the Clarks accuse CPS and others involved in the custody case of failing to protect their identities, a violation of state and federal laws.

In a 20-year-period, fewer children were killed by abuse and neglect in Sacramento County when programs aimed at troubled families were funded, according to a report presented to the Board of Supervisors.

The Bee gained access to Yeinira Melchor's child welfare file through a statute the Legislature passed in 2006 that made records public when children die as a result of abuse or neglect.

Giovanni Melchor was just a year old when he drowned in the stagnant water of his family's backyard swimming pool in late 2006. Not even three years later, Giovanni's sister, Yeinira, who had been removed from the home and then returned, was also dead, a victim of medical neglect by her parents.

Lilly Manning has been the recipient of other people's poor choices, bad judgment and terrible timing. Now, the 19-year-old woman who escaped torture in a south Sacramento home is seeking retribution.

Michelle Callejas, a longtime Sacramento County human services employee and manager, is the new head of the county's embattled Child Protective Services unit.

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