Lawmakers ask if more could have been done in teen's death - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lawmakers ask if more could have been done in teen's death

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Katiria Tirado, who is accused of starving her 17-year-old autistic son to death, is due in court on Tuesday morning. (Dept. of Corrections) Katiria Tirado, who is accused of starving her 17-year-old autistic son to death, is due in court on Tuesday morning. (Dept. of Corrections)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A Hartford mother accused of starving her 17-year-old autistic son to death faced a judge on Tuesday.

Katiria Tirado is facing felony manslaughter charges in the death of her son, Matthew.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Office of the Child Advocates released an 84-page report on the death of 17-year-old Matthew Tirado.

Matthew Tirado was just 84 pounds when he died on Feb 14. He had autism and intellectual disabilities.

Matthew Tirado's death was ruled a homicide by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. 

Suspicious body trauma including broken ribs, a cut on his head and scarring, was found on Matthew Tirado and what appeared to be a severe case of malnutrition.

To read the full report, click here

The case has caught the attention of lawmakers who want to know why the Department of Children and Families didn't do more to save the child.

A number of agencies were involved in this case but a state law made it difficult to rescue him before it was too late.

The state's Child Advocate says the Department of Children and Families, the juvenile courts, and Hartford Public Schools could have done more to save Matthew.

The boy had not been to school in two years and his mother failed to show up for seven court hearings.

DCF was familiar with Matthew and his younger sister and told the Committee on Children that they made numerous attempts to see the boy, but state law prevents access unless there’s evidence of abuse in Matthew’s case it was educational neglect.

"You call always do a better job, perfection is something we strive for. Could we have done things differently? You can always do more,” said DCF Commissioner Joette Katz.

Katiria Tirado would not let DCF see her son, which was her legal right and it made it difficult to help the boy but some feel not impossible.

"Legally we do have an obligation to go to court when we are called so parent or not parent, it seems to me where was the follow up with that,” said State Rep. Anne Dauphinais.

DCF said legally they were prevented from going into the apartment to see Matthew.

The committee may consider legislative changes.

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