YARMOUTH — The 2-year-old boy found unresponsive in his home today was the child of substance abusers and had a variety of physical and emotional ailments since birth, Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said.
O’Keefe said the investigation into the death of the child is ongoing, and no cause of death has yet been established by the state medical examiner’s office. “A preliminary investigation did not disclose any sign of trauma to the child,’’ O’Keefe said.
O’Keefe also said the child was involved with the Department of Children and Families at birth because he was born addicted to opiates, but that DCF involvement was scaled back in November when relatives of the birth parents obtained legal custody of the boy and his 3-year-old sister.
O’Keefe said the boy was being seen by two Cape-based social service agencies, one of which conducted a home visit on Monday and declared the child to be “well,’’ he said.
“There are just a lot of sad circumstances about this whole matter,’’ O’Keefe said in a telephone interview this afternoon.
The DCF issued a statement, saying the child protection agency was “deeply saddened by the loss of this young child.”
The statement said the child had briefly been in a DCF foster home but was removed from the home last year by a judge, despite opposition by the agency.
The judge placed the child in the custody of relatives instead, the statement said, while continuing to provide “supportive services” to the family.
O’Keefe said the couple and the two children were at home this morning inside the Cape-style house on Winslow Gray Road when the adults discovered the child was unresponsive.
Yarmouth police and firefighters responded to the home around 8:20 a.m., Yarmouth police said. Emergency workers performed CPR on the child, police said. The child was transported to Cape Cod Hospital but could not be revived, police said.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and everyone involved,” Yarmouth police wrote on their Facebook account.
O’Keefe said his office is not releasing the name of the child pending notification of next of kin.
According to O’Keefe, DCF has now taken custody of the older sibling while the boy’s death is under investigation. He said there were no signs of physical injuries to the 3-year-old girl.Patricia Wen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on twitter @jacktemp