In an investigation in Tennessee of the death of a 19-month-old child where the mother was arrested, the younger sibling in the family has come forward and told the police that she found her baby brother dead, in “dried feces, flies, vomit, urine and wet sheets”.
Horrific details emerge in the arrest of Tiffany Dianne Gibson, facing two counts of cruelty to children. Authorities say the 5-year-old girl woke up her mother to tell her that 19-month-old Terry Gibson was dead.
The young girl was moved to her aunt’s custody. The aunt, Carla Banks, was in tears when she talked about the situation. She said that she had called child services a number of times on her niece, in hopes they could help the two young children in a home. Child services had paid several visits to Gibson, and filed reports, but never took custody of the children.
ABC local news covers the story:
Details revealed in the report from the Department of Family and Children Services bring Carla Banks to tears. She is Terry’s aunt. He was 19 months old when he died.
The report says investigators found him with a full diaper, in a wet crib covered fecal matter and surrounded by flies.
Another child told investigators, “she woke up her mom and told her Terry was dead.”
“That breaks my heart even more,” Banks said.
Terry’s mother Tiffany Gibson is now facing two counts of cruelty to children. She declined to comment on the new report when we called her on Wednesday.
Susan Boatwright with the Division of Family and Children Services explained why the department didn’t remove Terry and his sister from the home even though case workers had been called here before.
“We want families to stay together whenever possible,” she said.
“So, we don’t often resort to removal as a first action, unless we have some reason to believe the child is in imminent danger.”
The report says a “Safety Plan” was completed in October regarding the home conditions and supervision, but allegations of mistreatment were unsubstantiated.
Banks says her nephew fell through the cracks.
“Oh yeah he fell through the cracks,” she said.
“There was people that called about Terry, and there was other people that called DFACS. We tried to help him, but help never came. It’s too late now. I want the world to see that things gotta be changed in the system so other babies don’t die,” Terry Gibson’s aunt Carla Banks told us last month.