Father sues Indiana child services over son’s death
MARTINSVILLE, Ind. — A man is accusing the Indiana Department of Child Services of being complicit in the death of his 5-year-old son, who died in the care of his mother and her boyfriend.
Justin Morgan filed a lawsuit in Morgan Superior Court this month contending the agency received at least 11 reports of suspected abuse before the 2016 death of Brayson Price, the Indianapolis Star reported .
The lawsuit alleges at least seven adults, including Morgan, Brayson’s aunt, a teacher, a school nurse, a bus aide and a guidance center employee, expressed concern about the boy’s safety.
The lawsuit alleges that the agency didn’t substantiate the allegations and left Brayson in the care of his mother, Meghan Price. In the years before his death, Brayson suffered numerous broken bones, burns and bruises, according to court records.
Morgan and Price had joint custody over the boy. Morgan was also accused of mistreating his son. He pleaded guilty to felony intimidation and neglect of a dependent in 2013, according to Hendricks Superior Court records.
During a department investigation of the alleged abuse, Price told officials that her son couldn’t feel pain due to several medical conditions and would sometimes injure himself when acting out, according to department records.
Brayson had been diagnosed with fragile X syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, impulse control disorder and dysphasia, according to records obtained by the newspaper.
Court records show Price will go to trial in June on charges of neglect and conspiracy to commit murder. A jury convicted her boyfriend, Steven Ingalls Jr., of those charges on Wednesday. He’ll be sentenced June 26.
Authorities believe Ingalls suffocated Brayson and intentionally caused the child to overdose on medication. Investigators allege Ingalls conducted internet searches for topics that included “I want to kill my autistic child,” ”painful ways to die” and “most painful torture.”
DCS spokeswoman Noelle Russell declined to comment on pending litigation.