YORK -- Between May 2017 and August 2018, Children & Youth Services in Pennsylvania received several reports of inadequate food and clothing, inadequate hygiene, homelessness, inappropriate caregivers, and inappropriate discipline regarding the care of a 2-year-old boy killed last year in York, according to a summary of child fatalities and near-fatalities from 2018 released by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services on Tuesday.
Dante Mullinix died on Sept. 14, 2018, at Hershey Medical Center, eight days after being transferred there from York Hospital, where he was dropped off by Tyree Bowie on Sept. 7.
Bowie, 40, is charged with criminal homicide in the child's death.
According to the criminal complaint, Bowie allegedly admitted to police on September 7 he was the one person caring for the boy when he stopped breathing, adding that he fed Dante animal crackers in the area of the 700 block of North George Street and noticed the child was not breathing as he approached the area of South George and East Maple Street. That’s when Bowie rushed the boy to the hospital.
Dante Mullinix's mother, Leah Mullinix, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child in the case.
Leah, spoke with FOX43 on September 18, 2018. She told FOX43 that she left Dante with a babysitter, Bowie, because she had a migraine and was going to the emergency room. Leah said that at the time she was dropped off, her child was fine, FaceTiming him around 9 p.m. on September 6.
“And then he FaceTimed me again after 10 p.m., flipping out saying, “he’s not breathing, he’s not breathing,’ and then I was just like, ‘call the ambulance, bring him to the hospital or something because my son needs medical attention.’ I told him that multiple times and then he finally brought him in. My son was completely limp, he gave him to a nurse, and then he took off,” Leah told FOX43.
At the time of his death, Dante reportedly had bruises all over his body, bleeding on the brain, and a compressed neck.
The Department of Human Services report does not explain why caseworkers made certain decisions, or go into much detail about the alleged complaints. But it lists several interactions Dante had with the child welfare system in the months leading up to his death.
"If they did something you would think he would still be alive right now," said Sarah Mullinix, Dante's aunt.
According to the report:
- Dante presented at the (York) hospital unresponsive with bruises and marks in various stages of healing, as well as irritation and marks on the genitals. (Dante) was determined to be in critical condition and was transferred to another hospital.
- (Dante) had sustained a subdural hematoma, broken ribs, a battered penial area and scrotum, bite marks on the arms, and a lacerated liver and pancreas. The victim child was taken off life support and succumbed to the injuries sustained.
- The doctor did not believe that the explanation that had been provided was consistent with the victim child’s injuries. There were no other children in the home.
- The family had been previously known to child welfare.
- Between May 2017 and August 2018, Adams County Children and Youth Services received multiple general protective service referrals alleging inadequate food and clothing, concerns regarding the mother’s mental health, inappropriate discipline, inadequate hygiene, homelessness, and inappropriate caregivers.
- A May 2017 referral was accepted for services but closed in October 2017, a March 2018 referral was determined to be invalid and the family was not accepted for services, and reports from June and August 2018 were screened out.
- In September 2018, the York County Office of Children, Youth, and Families received a child protective service referral regarding failure to provide medical treatment which was determined to be unfounded.
- On September 4, 2018, YCOCYF met with the family to discuss services, but the family was not opened for services at the time of the incident involving the victim child.
FOX43 reached out to The York County Office of Children, Youth and Families.
A spokesperson wrote: "We cannot comment on specifics pertaining to cases because of child protective services privacy laws." - Mark Walters, spokesman, York County.
Adams County Children and Youth Services was also unable to comment.
"Dante needs justice, someone needs to be his voice," said Sarah Mullinix, aunt.
Bowie is being held without bail in York County Prison. He faces homicide charges.
Leah Mullinex waived a preliminary hearing in January. She faces Child Endangerment Charges.
Both are expected back in court on June 13.