CEDAR PARK (October 25, 2013) CEDAR PARK (October 25, 2013)—Jacob Robb Salas, 32, who’s charged in the death of a 1-year-old foster girl had been investigated on three separate occasions for child neglect and had been barred from being with his biological children and with the infant, Orion Destiny Hamilton, state records show.
The girl died Sunday after Salas pressed her head between his knee and the floor, police said.
Salas is held without bond in the Williamson County Jail, charged with injury to a child.
The Austin American-Statesman reported that a caseworker with state Child Protective Services didn’t act when Salas was seen in April at the Cedar Park foster home where Orion lived.
The infant's foster mother told CPS that Salas did not live at the home in suburban Austin, despite various records that show he did.
Earlier this week Texas Child Protective Services says it took the word of the girl’s foster mother who told a caseworker that Salas was not living in her home.
Various court documents show that Salas, listed as his address the suburban Austin home, but the CPS caseworker who previously conducted a welfare check accepted the assertion of the foster mother that Salas lived elsewhere.
A police complaint says Salas confessed to harming the baby by squeezing her head between his knee and the floor.
Officers who responded Saturday to a report of a choking baby found the girl, Orien Hamilton, who investigators later determined had suffered a skull fracture.
She died the next day.
The girl was removed last fall from her home in San Antonio after her mother tested positive for drugs and was placed with her aunt in a foster kinship program.
The aunt left Orien with Salas when she was unexpectedly called to work over the weekend, authorities said.
The death was the fifth involving a foster child in the weeks since the end of a troubled fiscal year for the Texas Department of Child Protective Services.
CPS confirms that eight foster children died from abuse or neglect in the 2013 fiscal year that ended in August, four times the number of foster children whose deaths were attributed to mistreatment in 2012.
On Friday the Department of Family and Protective Services released a report that called the deaths "not acceptable."
The new state plan calls for increased training and proposing more unannounced visits to foster homes.