What is a child’s life worth? To a social worker facing charges in Ohio, it looks like only a few cheap food stamps.
A social services worker named Nancy Carabello is accused of bribery and several related crimes after she allegedly turned a blind eye as a child was being abused… and accepted food stamps in exchange for staying quiet.
Now a 5-year-old boy is dead, and it all could have been prevented.
“Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said that if Nancy Carabello had been doing her job, she would have witnessed the deplorable conditions Larissa Rodriguez’s children were living in,” WLKY News reported.
“34-year-old (Larissa) Rodriguez is facing a murder charge in the death of her 5-year-old son Jordan Rodriguez,” the news station continued. The boy’s body had broken bones and other evidence of being beaten.
Shockingly, after the young boy died from what appears to be abuse and neglect, his own mother and her boyfriend didn’t go to the authorities but buried the child’s body in their backyard.
“Five of Larissa’s other children — ages 1 to 12 — were found in ‘deplorable and unsanitary’ conditions after Jordan’s body was found,” explained WEWS News.
“Authorities said the house was filled with rats and cockroaches and one of the woman’s children was seen eating a sandwich with cockroaches in it,” the Cleveland television station reported.
There’s little doubt that appalling conditions where the boy lived led to his tragic death, but prosecutors are also pointing fingers at the social services worker who refused to do her job.
“According to the prosecutor’s office, the family services worker would report to the home but, rather than going inside, she would accept a food stamp card from Larissa.”
“The family services worker — identified as Nancy Caraballo — would then go and purchase goods with the card and return the card to Rodriguez afterward. Authorities say Caraballo purchased the food stamps, that were meant to feed the children, for 50 cents on the dollar,” WEWS stated.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley minced no words when describing why the worker was taking a food stamp card intended to feed young kids.
“This food stamp transaction is a bribe,” O’Malley said. “(Caraballo) was being bribed to look the other way.” The arrangement reportedly had been taking place for years.
Caraballo was not a state licensed social worker, but performed a similar role as a “Parent Educator” who was employed by an agency known as “Bright Beginnings.” According to Cleveland.com, that group is publicly funded by the county.
Despite not being a licensed state worker, Caraballo still had a duty to report dangerous or suspicious situations that might harm the children.
“But O’Malley said Caraballo filed false reports to cover up the fact that she skipped at least 11 visits, including one the month before investigators found the boy’s body,” Cleveland.com stated.
Some stories just don’t have a happy ending. It looks like almost everyone involved in the tragedy carries some blame, and the future of a young boy has now been erased.
They need to be held responsible for their actions, and the people of Ohio should ask hard questions about how this was allowed to happen.
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