It may be months before we find out how 9 year old Jarrod Tutko Jr. died. And it may take just as long for Dauphin County Children and Youth Services to find out if something fell through the cracks on their end. Police charged the father, Jarrod Tutko Sr. with multiple charges in connection to the boy’s death. They say they found the boy dead on Friday and believe he had been dead for days.
4 days after the discovery, the memorial outside the Tutko family home in Harrisburg is growing, showing a community mourning a loss. But many of you have a lot of questions.
How and why did this boy die and should the county have done more for him?
He lived in a room with fecal matter smeared on the floors and walls. His mother, Kimberly Tutko, told media that Dauphin County Children and Youth Services investigated an incident in her home last year. Kirsten Johnson, a spokeswoman for the agency, would not confirm that. She did say when investigators go in, they look at all living areas of a home including where a child sleeps.
“Multiple areas of the home are seen. That is a standard assessment, yes. (So it’s just not one child?) We’re required to see all of the children in the family’s home,” says Johnson.
Kimberly Tutko says her son stayed in a third floor room. She rarely visited him because her husband was responsible for taking care of him. She says Jarrod Jr. had Fragile X Syndrome, and could not use the bathroom by himself and required constant care. It’s unclear how long the boy’s room was covered in feces.
Johnson says the agency has 65 social workers who respond to 2,000 calls a year. She says if social workers see anything alarming during a visit, they take immediate action.
We asked her if the system failed:
“That is not something that I’m willing to say. We have not completed a review process and we have not been able to access what occurred in this particular case. What I can say, is clearly, clearly something occurred within this family system that allowed this to happen,” says Johnson.
Those questions continue to haunt neighbors..
“It’s like somebody (pause, emotion) ripped your heart out,” says Alfred Snyder from Camp Hill who came to light a candle in the boy’s honor.
The Dauphin County Coroner completed an autopsy Tuesday but requested more testing to find out the manner of the boy’s death. Kimberly Tutko has not been charged in connection with her son’s death.