DSS officials continue fight on child autopsies - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

DSS officials continue fight on child autopsies

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DSS officials say it is hard wrap up an investigation when autopsies come back with many unanswered questions. DSS officials say it is hard wrap up an investigation when autopsies come back with many unanswered questions.

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Employees with the New Hanover County Department of Social Services are continuing their fight when it comes to child autopsies.

For years, DSS has been asking that the state send the deceased bodies to Chapel Hill instead of Jacksonville.

Medical examiners in Jacksonville reportedly don't specialize in juvenile autopsies. As a result, some of DSS's investigations have been compromised or left with very few answers as to what happened to the child.

"We're powerless," said Wanda Marino with New Hanover County Department of Social Services. "We as a community, we as the criminal justice system, the district attorney's office, we're powerless to do anything to the alleged perpetrator that could have had action against them that would state this has happened."

DSS has been looking for a medical examiner that specializes in juveniles for years. They written officials in Raleigh but say their requests have fallen on deaf ears.

However, they will continue to fight because they believe these specialists could be the missing link to prosecuting those involved in the death of children.

Just this week, DSS wrapped up its fatality review of Jamiah Batts.

WECT.com is told those results won't be made public for weeks, but what we do know is that her autopsy came back months ago with an "undetermined" cause of death.

Officials say when an autopsy comes back with very few answers it is hard for them to discuss ways to prevent a similar situation from happening ever again.

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