Crime And Law

‘Everybody let Takoda down,’ grandmother says of 10-year-old boy’s death

DAYTON — Family members want change after police say a 10-year-old boy was abused for years before his death.

RELATED: County reviews Children Services’ handling of 10-year-old who died after alleged abuse

News Center 7’s Sean Cudahy spoke with relatives of Takoda Collins after leaders said they will investigate how tips he was being abused by his father did not stop his death.

His grandmother’s grief and anger was palpable.

His former teachers at Horace Mann Elementary School reported concerns numerous times, and yet Takoda died last month after what investigators said was years of extreme abuse.

On the same day a judge granted Takoda’s father, Al McLean, a competency evaluation, Montgomery County leaders announced an internal review into Children Services, and it handled reports of abuse against Takoda, saying “No child should be subjected to the abuse and pain he suffered in his short life.”

>> Records: 10-year-old boy abused daily for years prior to death; man indicted

Takoda’s grandmother Kelly Sandoval, who lives in Wisconsin, said it’s clear how the complaints were handled.

“Why waste the time on doing it? We already know how it happened,” she said.

She is confident the investigation will show that no one followed up diligently enough on concerns about Takoda.

“So that’s how it fell through the cracks. They just glanced at him. ‘Oh, he’s OK, no problem, let’s close the case out.’ Or, not even be able to get ahold of him. ‘Oh well, he’s not home. Close the case out,’” she said.

There were reports of abuse. On Tuesday, this news organization uncovered letters Takoda’s former teachers sent to lawmakers, saying, “staff noticed signs of abuse and neglect for several years,” reporting it.

RELATED: Dayton teachers reported abuse concerns for years before child’s death

“Knowing how many times those teachers had called. There’s no way in hell it should have fell through the cracks,” Sandoval said.

She said Ohio should make changes, and that the suffering of her grandson haunts her every day.

“I let  him down. Everybody let Takoda down.”

The case is far from closed. On top of the internal review into Children Services, Dayton police has a criminal investigation, and more charges could be filed against McLean.

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