Family of abused boy questions DHS; parents charged
SOUTH PHILADELPHIA - March 21, 2012 (WPVI) -- The parents of a South Philadelphia boy have been charged with his murder and now his relatives are questioning DHS.
6-year-old Khalil Wimes died yesterday at the age of 6.
He was a mere 25 pounds. Police say the cause of death has been determined to be multiple blunt force trauma and malnutrition.
Wimes lived at 1819 South 22nd Street.
Police arrested the boy's mother, Tina Wimes, 44, and his father, Floyd Wimes, 48 on Wednesday on murder and related charges.
According to police, Tina and Floyd Wimes drove Khalil to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on Monday. Hospital staff called 911 when they saw the boy and the condition he was in.
He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Neighbors tell Action News that while they did see his 3-year-old sister, they didn't know Khalil even lived at the home.
Action News learned from members of Khalil's father's side of the family Wednesday night that the 6-year-old had already been taken away from the parents previously because of a history of violence, but then sent back to them.
In our exclusive interview, they say they had pleaded with DHS and the court system to remove Khalil and his 3-year-old sister from their parents care.
But despite numerous pleas and letters, the children were left in the parents' care.
"I'm devastated; my whole family is devastated. Anybody who knew us and knew him are devastated," Khalil's cousin and former foster mother Alicia Nixon said.
Relatives say it was clear early on to them, and ultimately DHS and the court system, that Tina and Floyd Wimes were unfit to be parents.
They say the couple was heavily using drugs, living in squalor, and abusing their children.
Six of their eight children had previously been taken away from them and placed in foster care.
When Khalil was a week old, he too was taken away and placed in the care of his cousin Alicia.
"We raised him for three years nonstop, constantly loving him and taking care of him and making sure he was ok and his parents fought us tooth and nail until they got him back and then they killed him," Nixon said.
"We begged, we pleaded, we did everything legally possible to get the children," aunt Bashera Abdul-Hadi said.
First and foremost, relatives blamed Khalil's parents, but they also blame DHS and the courts for failing to listen to common sense.
"They made this poor decision to place him back with the very people they took him from," Bashera said.
"DHS is supposed to protect the children. He was in a very safe home; he was ripped from a safe home and taken back to squalor. I'm very saddened but I'll be honest with you, I'm extremely angry, I'm angry right now," uncle Sulaiman Hadi said.
It's unclear why Khalil and his 3-year-old sister were still living at the home.
Action News asked the mayor's office for comment, they referred us to police.
We then asked Captain James Clark of the Philadelphia Police Department, "Why did DHS not know about these kids?"
"I can't comment on that," Clark said.
The 3-year-old girl has now been placed with extended family.
Citing confidentiality laws, DHS says it was unable to comment on the case. However, sources within the administration cite that DHS had no open cases on the two children and could not otherwise explain why they were in Tina and Floyd Wimes' custody given their history of violence and drug abuse.
The developments in this story are reminiscient of those in the Danieal Kelly case.
Kelly, who was 14 years old when she died in 2006, weighed only 42 pounds at the time of her death. She hadn't been to school in years and could not walk or talk.
Numerous people were convicted for their roles in the girl's death.
Kelly's father, Daniel Kelly Sr., was convicted of child endangerment for abandoning the girl with her unfit mother.
Danieal's mother, Andrea Kelly, is serving 20 to 40 years after pleading guilty to third-degree murder.
Mickal Kamuvaka, a private social-services contractor, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
Former DHS worker Dana Poindexter was found guilty of reckless endangerment and perjury.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
philadelphia, pennsylvania, child death, child abuse, south philadelphia, local/state
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