She was born to a mother in foster care. She endured a chronic illness that made her dependent on prescription drugs to stay alive. She behaved so aggressively, trying to kill herself and threatening a teacher, that her adoptive parents asked a judge to send her away. She slept clutching letters her biological father sent from prison.
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How we got the story
This article is the second installment of an occasional series about the failings of Georgia’s child welfare system. In an earlier article, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that mistakes by state child protection workers had preceded the deaths of at least 25 children in 2012.
For this story, the Journal-Constitution reviewed reports from the state Division of Family and Children’s Services concerning Chasidee Crabtree and other children who died after involvement with the agency. The newspaper also examined a report on Chasidee’s autopsy and interviewed former state caseworkers, current DFCS officials, Chasidee’s foster parents and her adoptive parents.
The newspaper identified Chasidee through a state database of death certificates issued from 2011 through mid-2013.