WC Social Services Dept. fends off accusations it missed warnings

Posted: Updated:
Derran Morris is accused of killing 2-year-old Addison Turner and seriously injuring her twin sister, Annalynn. Derran Morris is accused of killing 2-year-old Addison Turner and seriously injuring her twin sister, Annalynn.
MOUNT VERNON -

The Westchester Department of Social Services defended itself Friday after the family of a slain toddler blamed authorities for missing warning signs of abuse.

"The death of 2-year-old Addison and injuries to her sister Annalynn last week are heartbreaking," the department's commissioner said in a statement. "I can say that at my direction our child welfare staff has carefully reviewed all of its cases for the past 60 days and found departmental protocols were followed and state and federal laws were met."

The statement went on to say that specific details had to remain confidential under state law.

"They failed her," said Natisha Blake, the victim's great aunt. "The system failed her."

As News 12 has reported, Derran Morris is accused of killing 2-year-old Addison Turner and seriously injuring her twin sister, Annalynn. Morris was dating the toddlers' mother.

Family members say they contacted child protective services on June 16 after noticing signs of abuse on baby Addison that they believed Morris had inflicted at his South Third Avenue home.

A social service worker checked on Addison on June 21 and determined that the toddler's injuries were consistent with what the mother, Monique Turner, claimed was a fall from bed.

Blake says the Department of Social Services could have done more to prevent further abuse.

"The child had two black and blue eyes," Blake says. "What more evidence do you need?"

Morris faces charges of second-degree murder and first-degree assault. He's being held at the Westchester County Jail without bail.

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