CLEVELAND (AP) — The 10-year-old brother of a toddler whose death was attributed to malnourishment has died while in a Cleveland foster home.
Authorities say Xavier Brothers-Bartholomew was found in full cardiac arrest Sunday and was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later. The cause and circumstances surrounding his death are being investigated by the Cuyahoga County medical examiner and Cleveland police, which is normal procedure when a child dies.
Xavier and his five siblings became the focus of attention in November 2012 when their 18-month-old brother, Isaac, was found dead in his crib in the family’s home in Vermilion, west of Cleveland. Authorities ruled that Isaac had died of malnourishment and that his siblings had been neglected by their parents, James Brothers and Adrienne Bartholomew, and their grandmother and paid caregiver, Deborah Nelson.
The parents and grandmother pleaded guilty last year to child endangering charges and are in state prison.
Isaac, Xavier and three other siblings were born with a genetic disorder that causes physical and mental impairments. A lawsuit filed in November 2014 on behalf of Isaac’s estate and the guardian for his siblings said the eldest child, a boy who is not disabled, often was left to care for the younger children. The lawsuit was filed against the parents and grandmother, officials in Erie County whose agencies were responsible for overseeing the children’s well-being and doctors who had treated the children.
The attorney who filed the lawsuit said the disabled children had begun to thrive in foster care and had doubled their weight.
The director of the Erie County Department of Job and Family Services issued a statement Monday that said there was no indication that the boy’s death “involved any concerns of abuse or neglect.”
The statement from Karen Balconi Ghezzi said Xavier, since November 2012, had been living with foster parents trained to care for the boy’s medical needs. Social workers and medical professionals made weekly visits to the home, the statement said.
The statement called Xavier’s death “a very sad case.”