State: Family of slain boy was being investigated

May 1, 2009 5:27:23 AM PDT
A two-year-old was beaten to death while child welfare officials in New Jersey investigated his mother's boyfriend for child abuse. Caden Rivera died on April 22 from blunt-force trauma to his abdomen.

Damien Rodriguez is held without bail in Cape May County, charged with aggravated manslaughter.

Officials at the state's Children and Families Department say they received a complaint in March that Rodriguez was abusing the boy. The investigation was ongoing.

Authorities say they also received complaints about the boy's mother.

In 2003, New Jersey's child welfare agency dealt with deaths and mistreatment of children in the its care.

Since then, advocates have praised the agency for reforms.

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Information from: The Press of Atlantic City, http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com

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