New Details in Child Abuse Death

CBS 58— So many questions remain in the homicide of a 7-year-old boy, who police say was abused.

Trevion Winningham was taken to the hospital on Tuesday with numerous injuries. He died just a few hours later. Four people have been arrested: two women for physical abuse of a child and two men for not doing anything to stop it.

One of the women in Trevion’s death was convicted back in 2003 of child neglect causing death. A child abuse expert says it points out a shortcoming of the system.

“One of the things that we learned from reviewing child abuse cases, is often there was a report by someone,” said Susan Conwell, the executive director of Kids Matter Inc.

Conwell, who is no involved in Trevion’s case, says what happens after the report needs to improve.

“I do think one of the real struggle's we're having in this community is that we're not always identifying escalation in abuse,” Conwell said. “I think the hardest part is when somebody has a history of abuse and then they abuse another child.”

Court records show the previously convicted women was found guilty in the death of a 1-year-old boy, after investigators say the baby was tortured for nearly two weeks.

The 2003 criminal complaint details the child’s injuries saying, "the left arm of the baby was broken in two separate places." He also had bruises and marks covering his entire body including "bruises between the eyes."

The woman was sentenced to just 18 months in prison, and four years extended supervision, which ended in 2008.

“Obviously it's devastating,” Conwell said of the boy’s death. “That's something we have to get a lot better at preventing.”

Conwell says there are signs of abuse to watch for-- unexplained or untreated bruises and injuries. For very young kids, Conwell says the rule is "if they aren't cursing, they aren't bruising" meaning kids that aren't mobile, rarely injure themselves.

“I just want to encourage people to continue to be vigilant on behalf of kids,” Conwell said.

If you suspect a child is being abused there are several resources. The National Child Abuse Hotline is staffed 24/7 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).

In Milwaukee County you can call 414-220-SAFE (7233).

For more ways to report- click here.

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