Disclosure: I have not read any police reports, medical records, CPS/CFS records or Coroner’s reports. I am simply the messenger, and relaying the information given to me by the mother of Cam, AJ & Haven.
When I hear a mom talking about the loss of a child, it resonates with me. Having lost 2 babies to miscarriage, I know that pain. It’s a pain that never goes away, it gets better, you learn to live with it and move on…but the aching is always there-just below the surface. It’s a pain I understand.
What I don’t understand is giving birth to a baby, losing that baby shortly afterwards-being blamed for that baby’s death (even though you pass a polygraph test), and having your remaining two children taken from you. That I DON’T understand. This isn’t make-believe, it’s real life, and one mom is living it right now in Southern CA.
I’ve never met the mother, but the Maternal Grandmother in this case is someone I met through online social media some years back. When I heard about the nightmare these people are going through- I knew I had to write about it. People need to be made aware of cases like this-if for no other reason than to shine a light on it and bring attention to it. I’m hoping that by telling the story, this case will be more closely examined. I am sharing the facts as I know them, as they were told to me by the mother of the children involved. I am also condensing the story-as it’s impossible to repeat every single nuance in one blog post.
This is the story of Baby Haven, and her brothers: AJ (Aiden) & Cam (Cameren). Little Haven came into the world on Aug. 14, 2013. She was not breathing when she was born, due to her umbilical cord being wrapped around her whole body, from the neck down, very tightly. Doctors were able to get her breathing, and she went home after a couple of days. When she was about 8 days old, her breathing appeared erratic. Her mother also states she would cry every time someone picked her up. Worried about her breathing, and thinking maybe she was deaf- she was taken to the Victor Valley Hospital to be checked out. Her mother told the ER docs her concerns and wondered if maybe her baby was deaf & that every time they picked her up, she was startled and that’s why she was crying. The doctors and nurses looked after Haven for a couple of hours, noted her crying, suctioned her throat out and released her with a diagnosis of Colic. Haven’s mother was not satisfied with the diagnosis, and made an appointment with Haven’s pediatrician for Sept. 26th, which was the earliest they could get her in.
Haven’s mother, Stevevonna E., returned to work just two short weeks after giving birth to her. On Sept 25th, she received a text from her husband. He told her to get to Victor Valley Hospital, because Haven was not breathing. Stevevonna rushed to the hospital. Upon arrival, she told the nurse she needed to see her husband & baby. The nurse told her she could not see anyone or do anything until she filled out some forms. (WHAT?! Someone tell me this is a mistake, I could not imagine going to the hospital under those conditions, and being told I needed to fill out forms before seeing my baby!) Once she filled out the forms, she was told to have a seat & the Sheriff would be out to talk to her. Stevevonna says it was then that she knew her baby was gone. Why else would the Sheriff need to speak to her. Crying & confused, she waited.
Hours passed before the doctor & Sheriff came out to see her… HOURS! What they said, just blows my mind, “Your baby died, do you have any questions?” (Is this really how it’s done in Southern CA hospitals? Unbelievable! Where’s the compassion?) She wanted to see her baby, but was told she could not- not until the Coroner was done with her. Instead, she was told to get her other two children, Cam & AJ & take them to the Victorville Police Station for questioning. Once everyone was at the station, a Victorville Detective and CFS (formerly CPS) employee questioned them for hours. They were finally able to go home, but the baby’s father would have to go to the home they all shared, & she would have to take herself & the boys to her mom’s house & spend the night there. They agreed, and left.
The following day brought more questioning by the San Bernardino Police. They revealed to her that Haven had a broken arm & broken ribs. Stevevonna felt this may have been the result of CPR efforts or the umbilical cord that had been wrapped around Haven’s body at birth. (There had also been an incident with the baby falling off the couch.) The mom says her baby never showed any signs of injury, that she could see. It was then that both parents were given a lie detector test. Here are the questions Stevevonna was asked:
1: Is your name Stevevonna E.? Yes
2: Did you cause Haven’s death? No
3: Did you have any involvement in Haven’s death? No
4: Have you in your adult life ever lied to somebody you cared about to get out of trouble? No
5: Did you cause Haven’s injuries? No
6: Do you know who injured Haven? No
7: Did you break Haven’s ribs? No
8: Did you break Haven’s arm? No
Both parents passed the polygraph exam & were then asked who they were covering for. Again Stevevonna asked to see her baby, and again she was denied.
The next couple of months are filled with visits to CFS, getting physicals for both remaining boys and getting health records to CFS for review. Included in those records, were X-rays from when AJ was 4 months old, (he just celebrated his 2nd birthday). When he was 4mths old, he stopped moving one of his legs. Stevevonna took him to the doctor, where they did bloodwork and took X-rays. It was determined he had a Viral Infection & it would clear up in about 14 days. Which it did. The folks at the CAC (Child Assessment Center) did not agree with AJ’s doctor & said it was a Spiral Fracture & not a Viral Infection. (What good are medical records if they are just going to be questioned and refuted? Why ask for them in the first place, if you are going to turn around and say the child’s Primary Care Doctor and Radiologist don’t know what they’re doing?) Again, she was allowed to take the boys and go home.
Fast forward to November 8th, when the Sheriff and a CFS worker arrived at her door, with a warrant & took 9 year old Cam and little AJ. (Stevevonna has dealt with numerous CFS workers & social workers, including Lillian M., Katherine B. & Mary Anna W.- she has been told conflicting things- she feels she has been misled many times- she’s in shock). She asked if her kids could be taken to a relative’s house, and was told no. After the kids were taken, she carefully reviewed the warrant and says it states that the kids can INDEED be placed into the care of relatives, as opposed to foster care.
While in the care of the first (yes, first) foster home, Steveonna reports her kids had scratches, cuts, and rashes on them and were being mistreated.
The foster mother removed them from their primary care doctor’s care & switched doctors. The oldest child was told he could no longer participate in sports, because he had been telling his mother how the foster parents were treating him.
Stevevonna has been to court several times to try to get her kids back. Her mother, the Maternal Grandmother of the kids tried to get custody of them back in November – but was denied. Fast forward to Feb. 10th, when the paternal grandmother of the oldest child (Cam) asked for custody of both him & his little brother (AJ is NOT this woman’s grand child). Keep in mind Cam’s father has not been in his life for the past 6 years & owes child support. The judge approved custody. How did the this woman (who hasn’t seen Cam in years, and is no relation to AJ) get approved to care for the kids in less than a month, when the Maternal Grandmother has been trying to get approved since November?
Since the kids have been in the care of Cam’s Paternal Grandmother, they appear dirty, with the baby, AJ, smelling of cigarettes and urine. Cam reports he has not been to school, because they are changing his school. (Big no-no according to Bill AB 490, Rule 5.651- which states only the child’s parents can change his school). They tell their mother they are hungry. There are three kids sleeping in one bedroom, the limit is two.
My main concern is for these children. How does this happen? How do you lose an infant- pass a polygraph test pertaining to that precious baby and then have your whole world turned upside down? I know CPS/CFS have a lot on their plate- I know so many kids fall through the cracks. This just doesn’t seem right… it doesn’t add up in my mind.
Someone please help me understand.
Stevevonna has started a FB page for her boys, and for anyone else that feels their kids have been wrongfully removed from their care. You can see it here. Camaid Evans is the page name. You can view more photos of Haven and her brothers there.
I would like to thank Stevevonna for sharing her story with me- it is truly heartbreaking. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Haven, and I pray for the safe return of your sons. I will be keeping all my readers updated on Cam & AJ.