Octavia Rogers is accused of stabbing and killing her three sons Avery Robinson (2 months), Jeremiah Adams (5 years), and Jaikare Rahaman (8 years). Rogers also attempted to harm herself following the deaths of her children. Rogers appeared in court Monday and plead not guilty to the murder charges of her children. During the hearing Rogers could be heard sobbing and hyperventilating while bellowing out the words, “Help me”. ABC 15 reports that Rogers was high off of the synthetic drug, Spice, when the murders took place.
Three past visits made by DCS:
1st: Dec. 27, 2010
Parents brought child to the hospital for cuts and bruises. Parents said child was hurt at daycare; however, when DCS went back to interview the parents again the family had moved. DCS then closed the case.
2nd: Aug. 11, 2011
Someone reported that a dog bit one of the children and that the mother smoked marijuana around the children. The family declined services and the case was closed.
3rd: March 11, 2016
Avery was born positive for traces of marijuana in his system. The family declined services and DCS closed the case.
The big question that everyone wants to know is, could this horrific event have been avoided? Did DCS do everything possible, according to policy, to help this family? If so, are there policies that need to change in order to prevent something like this from happening in the future? There were three opportunities to help this family, yet no contact made by DCS prevented these three innocent lives from being taken. The children, according to DCS Director Gregory McKay, were not in imminent danger to warrant the removal of the children from the home. The department has to show to a court that there is imminent danger to a child or children in the home, otherwise DCS does not have the legal right to take children away from their parents.
In this case it was suspected that the mother had a drug problem. Why did the case continue to be closed because the family declined services? The mother should have been required to test regularly for a period of time and attend a drug treatment program. If the mother did not comply with DCS requirements, then the children should have been removed or temporarily given to a family member until the mother was able to show that she was sober. By the child being born substance exposed, it showed that the mother did marijuana at some point during her pregnancy. Therefore, she should have to prove she is able to soberly parent her children. It is unfortunate that three beautiful children had to be taken so soon and that this tragic event could have been avoided with the right treatment in place.