Omarion Humphrey

Name: Omarion “Mars” Humphrey
Died: July 10, 2015
Age at death: 9
Cause of death: Accidental drowning; lack of supervision
Location: Davison Township, Michigan, USA

Details:
Omarion, nicknamed Mars, came from a big family. He had four grown siblings and ten still living with his parents.

Unfortunately, Omarion’s parents were unable to provide adequate housing for their many children. Their house was falling apart and the children, the oldest of whom was 17, were wearing ill-fitting, dirty clothes and sleeping on the floor of a small apartment while their parents lived in another apartment. Omarion’s mother was pregnant with twins.

In February of Omarion’s last year of life, Omarion’s parents had agreed that he and and his siblings would be removed from their home, some to foster care and others to live with their great-aunts. Omarion’s new twin baby brothers were born and were also placed with relatives. While their children were in foster care, Omarion’s parents took parenting classes and got psychological treatment, working toward reunification.

Omarion went missing when his foster family spent the 4th of July picnicking at the park. His foster mother had been warned earlier that day to keep a better eye on him, but Omarion disappeared anyway. Volunteers turned out to search for him. His body was found six days later floating in nearby Lake Callis; he had fallen into the water and drowned.

Police said that Omarion’s foster parents had no training in caring for autistic children; his foster mother, certified to care for special-needs children, had only researched autism on the Internet. Omarion had been left completely unsupervised. One of the rules foster parents agree to follow is that they will monitor children near water at all times. They had waited forty minutes to report him missing to the foster care agency.

The foster care agency has since lost its license.

References:
The search for Omarion “Mars” Humphrey
Omarion Humphrey was in lake the entire time he was missing, police say
Spotlight on foster agency linked to missing boy found dead in lake
Omarion Humphrey, autistic foster child failed by almost everyone, found dead in lake
Prosecutor weighs Omarion Humphrey case; parents hope to reunite with kids
Omarion Humphrey’s 10 siblings to remain in foster care, judge rules
Omarion Humphrey should have had ‘constant’ supervision near water, foster rep says
Omarion Humphrey case puts focus on foster guidelines for autistic children
Foster agency connected to autistic boy who drowned agrees to close
More Michigan kids die despite 10 years of trying to fix the system meant to protect them

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