Biological father of girl, 1, ‘beaten to death in foster care warned officials she was in danger with her new family but they didn't listen'
- Orien Hamilton died after being taken to hospital with severe head injuries
- Jacob Salas, 32, who has a history of violence accusations, was looking after the child while foster parent was out
- He admitted to pinning the toddler's head to the ground with his knee
- Officials were warned by the girl's father of Mr Salas' violent history
Suspect: Jacob Salas, 32, was charged with causing injury to a foster child but could face more serious offences
The biological father of an 11-month-old girl killed while in foster care claims he warned Texas officials she was in danger.
Brian Hamilton, father of Orien Hamilton, warned authorities one month ago that his daughter was in trouble because Jacob Salas has a history of abuse.
The toddler died Saturday after the abusive man pinned her head to the floor with his knee, and officials are at a loss to explain how Mr Salas' history of abuse fell through the cracks.
The young girl was removed from her San Antonio home four months ago after investigators found methamphetamine in her system, she was placed in the Austin home of Mr Salas' ex-wife.
Formerly married to the toddler's aunt, and having fathered three children with her, the former prison guard was accused in 2004, 2005 and 2012 of abuse, according to KVUE.
In the wake of the abusive ex-prison guard, according to KXAN, crushing the baby's skull until it died, Child Protective Services is scrambling to find an explanation.
'There were two different parties who questioned the foster mother about Jacob Salas living in her home,' a spokesperson told KVUE.
'She denied it and told both Child Protective Services and the attorney that he was living out of state, she added, 'the CPS case worker at that point in time was satisfied with the answer.'
Mr Salas driver's license is registered to the address where paramedics rushed Saturday after receiving a call that a baby was choking, KVUE revealed.
'Whether or not we could've, should have done more is a question - it's something that we missed,' the spokesperson added, 'it's obvious.'
State officials have since removed the three children, all under the age of eight, from the home, according to YNN. They are currently staying with a relative.
Looking after the child while the foster parent was at work, Mr Salas was arrested after admitting to police he may have caused the child's injuries.
Awful: Orien Hamilton was taken from her home to protect her safety, only for her to die while in foster care
The 32-year-old dialed 911 on Saturday, claiming the toddler was choking on a piece of food. She was then taken to Dell Children's Hospital in Austin, Texas, where she later passed away, according to reports.
But when officers began questioning Mr Salas, they found his account was inconsistent with the child’s injuries after police found bruising on her left ear, officials said.
The appalling crime shocked even veteran police.
'"It's very rare that we have a case that is this sensitive,' Cedar Park Police Department Captain Darlene Lewis told KXAN.
'It's very hard on everyone involved, including the personnel that responded to the scene,' she added.
An inglorious end to an unfairly short life: The toddler died at Dell Children's Hospital, in Austin, Texas
Cops charged Mr Salas with injury to a child and are working with the Williamson County District Attorney's office to determine whether he will face more serious offenses.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) said the toddler was placed in a San
Antonio foster home until December last year.
She was then transferred to her
aunt’s home in Cedar Park because of the state's policy which urges foster children are places with their relatives.
The Lutheran Social Services (LSS) said Ms Hamilton's aunt was called into work and was not in the house at the time of the tragic incident. She had only become an authorized caretaker two weeks ago, according to KXAN.
Mr Salas was not an approved caretaker, the station noted.
Scene: The 11-month-old Orien Hamilton was being looked after by Salas at this house in Cedar Parks in Austin, Texas
The agency said they were also not aware Salas cared for the child until they received the call informing them of what had happened.
Both DFPS and LSS conducted a background check on Hamiton’s aunt. The child’s aunt was verified as a foster parent by LSS on Oct. 7.
LSS said they will conduct their own comprehensive investigation into the incident. DFPS said they are investigating the agency’s actions in the case as well.
A CPS spokesperson claimed children are not often killed while in foster care, despite a five dying of abuse or neglect in just the last few weeks, and a total of eight in the fiscal year ending Aug 31, according to the Dallas Morning News.
A total of 29 children died while in foster care in Texas in the last fiscal year, a dramatic increase from 18 the previous year.
Mr Salas remains in county jail and faces the possibility of a capital murder charge in connection with the toddler's death.Texas is the most aggressive state in use of the death penalty for capital murder convictions.
It is not clear if the girl's aunt will face any charges for lying to officials about Mr Salas.
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