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Three-year-old child suffocates while punished, after state sends him home

At his grandmother’s Lee County home, life was bleak for Michael McMullen and his three siblings. They slept in an animal’s cage, were apparently beaten, and may have been drugged as well to keep them manageable.

Child welfare workers are supposed to rescue children from such a home.

Except child welfare workers were the ones who put the kids in the home of grandma Gale Watkins — after deciding their mother’s home was too dangerous an environment.

By the time the Department of Children & Families grasped that things were even worse at the grandmother’s home, it was too late for Michael. The 3-year-old was dead. According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, he died when he was wrapped tightly, straitjacket style, in various layers of blanketing, a form of discipline in the home of Gale Watkins.

The boy was trussed up so tightly he simply stopped breathing. More from Carol Marbin Miller here.

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