The details of this story are disturbing. Reader discretion is advised.
The father of 2-year-old Ja’hir Gibbons tells NBC 5 he’s haunted by thoughts of what his son endured.
“I haven’t been to sleep in a few days, I don’t have an appetite to eat, I’m just real devastated right now,” Robert Gibbons said.
Chicago police say the child’s mother, 28-year-old Brittany Hycm returned from work and found Ja’hir unresponsive he was left in her boyfriend’s care. Dejon Waters, 21, eventually admitted to physically abusing the child the day he died, police said.
“The victim’s abdomen torso and arms were covered in new and old bruises, the victims face was covered in bruises and abrasions,” assistant state’s attorney James Murphy said. “Defendant Waters said he got mad at the victim and struck him multiple times with his hands and a rolled up shirt. After striking the victim, he began foaming at the mouth.”
Gibbons says there were numerous reports of abuse made to Department of Children and Family Services and multiple times he found bruises on his son Ja’hir and his 5-year-old son Josiah.
A DCFS investigator last visited the home this weekend but Ja’hir was not there. The caseworker made plans to follow up next week.
“They went in the house and said everything was fine … and the next day my son was dead,” Gibbons said.
Waters is charged with murder. Police say Hyc endangered the life of her son by leaving him in Waters’ care even though her boyfriend had battered the child before.
“It’s like she had no motherly instinct, how could you let someone just beat on your kids in front of you like that,” Gibbons said.
Police say a medical examination of the child’s body revealed numerous injuries, old and new, including rib and wrist fractures, lacerations on his liver and contusions on his lungs.
“DCFS is supposed to be something to step in and prevent this and I feel that they have failed me and they failed my son,” Gibbons said.
Hyc’s and Gibbons’ son Josiah has been temporarily placed in foster care.
A spokesperson for DCFS says they have been in contact with the family since 2010 and continue to investigate.
Donations are being accepted for Ja’hir’s funeral here.