FITCHBURG—A state social worker not only failed to carry out mandatory monthly visits to the home where 5-year-old Jeremiah Oliver lived, but also recommended that the family—which has a history of drug abuse and violence—be released from state oversight because it was doing well, the commissioner of the state Department of Children and Families said Wednesday.
The recommendation in September to end supervision of the troubled household came even though it had been four months since social workers had seen the boy, state officials acknowledged. Jeremiah is now missing and presumed dead.
Governor Deval Patrick, in his first comments on the case Wednesday, called the events “devastating.” Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Shelley Murphy and Patricia Wen of the Globe Staff contributed to this report. Michael Levenson can be reached at email@example.com; Brian MacQuarrie at firstname.lastname@example.org; and Travis Andersen at email@example.com.