DCF investigator may have falsified report

Baby Death
Posted at 6:32 AM, May 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-24 02:37:16-04

MIAMI (AP) - Authorities say a child abuse investigator may have falsified the substance abuse screening of a South Florida mother who later left her baby to die in a hot car.

Based on Shani Smith's report last fall, officials determined it was not necessary to protect 11-month-old Bryan Osceola or his siblings from his parents. Then last week authorities say the child's mother, Catalina Bruno, left Bryan, along with her purse and a can of beer, in the car outside their home.

The Miami Herald reports that the boy had a 109-degree temperature when he was finally found. He was declared dead at the hospital.

Department of Children & Families Secretary David Wilkins says there's no evidence that a required substance abuse evaluation was performed following a November visit.

Wilkins says Smith denies falsifying the documents.