By Howard Koplowitz
The Aug. 18 death of a 2-year-old Far Rockaway boy who had been in foster care before being returned to his mother earlier this year was ruled a homicide last week after he was found bruised and battered in his home, the city medical examiner's office said.
Police have yet to charge anyone in his murder.
Authorities responded to a 911 call around 2:26 a.m. Aug. 18 that little Jashya Brown was unconscious in his home at 217 Beach St. in Far Rockaway.
He was taken to St. John's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival, police said.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement that his office “has been working closely with the NYPD's Homicide, Special Victims and 101st Precinct Detectives from the outset” and that the investigation was ongoing.
The boy's mother, Sheree Brown, attributed her son's condition to either roughhousing with his 5-year-old brother or his fall from a bicycle, according to published reports.
But the city medical examiner's office came to a different conclusion — that Jashya was the victim of battered child syndrome, citing his extensive internal and external injuries, a spokeswoman for the agency said.
Both Brown, 20, and her live-in boyfriend, Daquean Williams, were interviewed by police shortly after the boy's death, but had not been charged with his murder as of press time, authorities said.
The boy had been in foster care before being returned to Brown earlier this month, according to a spokeswoman for the city Administration for Children's Services.
A source familiar with the case said Brown's children were taken from her because of neglect. They said a judge agreed for the children to be returned to her after she completed anger management and parenting courses.
“Children's Services is investigating the tragic death of Jashya Brown and the facts surrounding it,” the agency said in a statement. “Each year, thousands of children in foster care are reunited with their families, as was the case in this situation.”
Brown and her boyfriend were seen by foster care agency caseworkers five days before Jashya's death, ACS said, but no problems were found.
So far this year, the couple had 30 visits between the couple and “foster and preventive agencies,” according to ACS.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.