Child Protective Services is facing scrutiny after the continual, reported abuse of two girls went without action by the agency — arguably keeping the children in an unsafe environment. Even the most experienced criminal defense attorneys would agree that this crime is beyond reprehensible.
What are the Details of This Tragic Crime?
The case is still unfolding in Clark County after it began back in 2010 when Dwight and Janel Solander adopted two little girls. According to prosecutors, the two girls were tortured and severely abused in their new home, and the parents were arrested and charged in 2014.
Heather Richardson, a Child Protective Services worker, is the individual who came in contact with the Solanders and noticed one of the girls had bruises. At that point, she contacted CPS to take care of the situation. However, nothing was done to remedy the situation.
The Crime was Reported Multiple Times
It was not only Richardson that reported the abuse. The girls’ nanny at the time, Jan Finnegan, also notified authorities. Even so, she never received a call back from Child Protective Services. Prosecutors addressed this in court, asking Ms. Finnegan if she ever received contact from CPS after reporting the abuse. Ms. Finnegan’s response to the question: “Nothing.”
Jacqueline Bluth, the leading prosecutor, said “There were five reports and investigations for child abuse, for child neglect, and CPS went and investigated, and nothing was done. These children were left in the home, and they were continued to be abused.”
The Abuse Was Unimaginable and Heartbreaking
Prosecutors claim the girls were restricted from food and water and were beat with sticks. They were also forced to undress from the waist down and sit on buckets for hours on end. They were not allowed to sleep on beds but instead had to sleep naked on boards without sheets with a fan constantly blowing on them.
In one particularly disturbing photo, the jury saw that one of the girls was covered in her own feces, reportedly smeared there by her adopted parents. It was also reported that when the Solanders got angry, they picked up the little girls by the hair and repeatedly slammed their heads into the counter. This head trauma was so severe on one of the girls that her eye swelled shut.
Jan Finnegan, the former nanny, had considered taking the girls before she left the household (for good). She stated, “I went over to give each child a hug, and I told them I’d be praying for them and they were crying as I walked out the door. I will never forget it in my life. I wanted to take them with me. I could’ve gone into Laughlin. I know officers there, but what could they have done, and I felt like I let these children down.”
Instead of taking the children illegally, Finnegan did what she thought was the right thing: she reported the case to CPS. However, as stated, nothing was done.
Proceeding With The Criminal Case
As if that is not disturbing enough: even MORE foster children were placed under the Solander’s custody and in their home during the time their two adopted daughters were being tortured. How this happened concurrently with the reports of abuse rolling in is beyond comprehension.
Defense Attorney Dayvid Figler stated, “No documentation of anything amounting to criminal level abuse” was found.
The I-Team has been reporting on CPS’ general failures over the past several years. So far, in 2018 alone, there are reports of the death of two children in Clark Country; both of these families had been reported to CPS, but nothing was done because the allegations were found to be “unsubstantiated.”