Youth care 'ignored' abuse of murdered Savanna

1st October 2004, Comments 0 comments

1 October 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Despite repeated warnings and reports about the alleged abuse of three-year-old Savanna, the care agency in North Holland did not to intervene decisively before the girl was murdered last week, it has been claimed.

1 October 2004

AMSTERDAM — Despite repeated warnings and reports about the alleged abuse of three-year-old Savanna, the care agency in North Holland did not to intervene decisively before the girl was murdered last week, it has been claimed.

Savanna appears to have been subjected to regular abuse before she was killed on 20 September. Her body was found in the boot of a car last week in Holten. Savana's mother and male friend were arrested on suspicion of her murder.

The youth care bureau — which was granted custody of Savanna in 2002 — knew that her mother Sonja de J. had in the past tried to kill a child from another relationship. "We know that, but we have nothing to do with that case," bureau director Erik Lemstra, said.

The organisation — which decides on protection measures and placing children in foster care — also knew that Savanna was being abused, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.

"There were two reports of abuse with the Child Protection Advice and Reporting Point (AMK), which we took to heart. But based on an investigation by the AMK, it did not appear foster care was necessary," Lemstra said.

According to a spokeswoman of the South Holland division of the AMK, reports were lodged in May 2004 and December 2002 about Savanna's abuse. But an investigation revealed no real evidence of abuse.

The AMK did not conduct an official investigation, but after the two reports were lodged, the family was offered more intensive assistance. The information was also passed onto the North Holland youth care bureau and other services.

Meanwhile, Savanna — whose cause of death was most likely suffocation — was buried on Thursday morning in a private ceremony by a few dozen family members, friends and neighbours in her home city Alphen aan den Rijn.

The two suspects had their remand detention extended on Thursday night.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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