New details emerge about missing 5-year-old Kansas boy
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A 5-year-old Wichita boy who has been missing since mid-February was frequently seen with bruises and cuts — and once with black eyes — according to a court document filed in a juvenile case involving a 1-year-old girl he lived with in the year before he disappeared.
The Sedgwick County juvenile court document indicates the state of Kansas was told at least twice that Lucas Hernandez was being abused and details a dysfunctional and violent family life for the boy, The Wichita Eagle reported .
Lucas’ stepmother, Emily Glass, is jailed on child endangerment charges involving her daughter, who has been placed in state custody. Glass hasn’t been charged in Lucas’ disappearance. She remains jailed on $50,000 bond.
Glass reported Lucas missing on Feb. 17.
A juvenile court judge allowed The Eagle to see a child-in-need of care petition regarding Glass’ daughter Wednesday. It said Glass has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, has difficulty controlling her anger and sometimes used methamphetamine and heroin. The state’s child protection agency was told that Glass apparently targeted Lucas when she was angry with his father, who often traveled for work.
Glass’ attorney didn’t return a phone message left Friday.
In May 2017, the Kansas Department for Children and Families received the first of two reports about abuse involving Lucas, who reportedly had bruising in the shape of a hand on his left arm, and bruises on his cheek and bottom.
“It was reported that when asked about his bruises, all Lucas would say is that (Glass) ‘doesn’t like me any more,’” the document noted. The state agency investigated and determined there was not enough evidence to support the allegation and closed the case, according to the document.
In November 2017, while Glass and Lucas were visiting the boy’s father in Carlsbad, New Mexico, that state’s child protection services agency received a report that Lucas had two black eyes. Glass “may have been targeting Lucas due to her anger” with the boy’s father, the report said. The Kansas DCF contacted the New Mexico agency, which provided its report, saying it had investigated and determined the allegations were unfounded. The report was not assigned for further review.
In December 2017, someone reported that Lucas had bruises on his arms and a large bruise on his forehead, according to a report DCF received on Feb. 19, two days after the boy disappeared. Lucas said that Glass “became angry and threw a water bottle at his face,” the document said. The next month, Lucas arrived at Beech Elementary School with nine cuts and bruises, according to an interview with the school nurse by a DCF social worker on Feb. 20, three days after he went missing.
Lucas and his biological mother said he fell off monkey bars, but the school nurse said, “It looked like he had been in a fight.” The boy reported feeling ill at the school at least twice in the days following that report, including on Feb. 9, the last day he attended school.
Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com