Deadly abuse of 5-year-old boy has Michigan senator working to change CPS information law

Lincoln Park, Mich. – Local 4 continues its investigation into the death of 5-year-old Ethan Belcher and whether any changes are needed Michigan’s Child Protection Services.

Critics say CPS is ineffective and underfunded. But the agency also stands behind a law that prevents information about how the agency works from being made public.

The system has been heavily criticized over the years for being ineffective and requiring much more funding. But the agency also stands behind a law that prevents information about how the agency works from being made public.

Belcher’s family is preparing for a funeral this week. A funeral they neither expected nor could afford.

Read: ‘A House of Horrors’: What officials say about CPS after 5-year-old is killed in Lincoln Park

Candace Rush, Ethan’s aunt, rides Local 4 from Tennessee to Michigan on Tuesday (January 31) from her home in Bristol, Tenn.

She is devastated by the loss of a young boy, whom she says she tried to keep safe.

“It was never meant to come to this,” Rush said. “It should have been listened to as we had reported it several times before.”

Rush was in tears upon learning that she and her sister were trying to drag their two nephews, 5-year-old Ethan and his 6-year-old brother, from the abusive home.

She pointed to some baby photos of Ethan before his parents split when he was living with his Stepfather Shane Robert Shelton and his mother Valeria Hamiltonwho is charged with his torture and murder.

Murder charge in a horrifying child abuse case against mother and stepfather of East Detroit

Rush says she even tried to convince a case worker to take both boys on.

“I told her I would be up from Tennessee and pick them both up and as this was an ongoing case she had not yet been proven unfit that if I removed her from the state I could potentially be charged with kidnapping would.” Rush said.

These family situations are a legal minefield, but Republican state senator Jim Runestad believes they are white lakesays the child protection service is hiding behind a secrecy law that exempts it from freedom of information requests to understand what’s going wrong.

Runestad says he wants to change that.

“This is the only area I know of that if we can’t figure out how to fix it, they can completely clog and block all information about what went wrong,” Runestad said.

As for Ethan’s funeral, Rush says it’s going to be difficult.

“This is going to be one of the hardest days of my life,” Rush said.

Runestad will submit its bill to the Senate and begin searching for co-sponsors on Wednesday (February 1).

Local 4 will be aware of this as Ethan’s parents will also appear in court for a probable cause hearing on Wednesday.

There is a GoFundMe site for the family and they brought about half of what they need to bury the 5 year old.

Likewise: Detroit mom, stepdad accused of molestation that killed 5-year-old son and injured 3-year-old

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