Looking into the death of a 7-year-old boy who was starved to death, allegedly by the guardians who were supposed to care for him, 7NEWS Investigators wonder: why didn't Denver Human Services respond in April when teachers called the child abuse hot line to express concern that Chandler Grafner had not been in school for more than a month?
Denver Director Roxanne White has said repeatedly that her department was told Chandler was being home schooled and that is why her department took no action.
"When the school called in the report, they also reported the parents were going to be home schooling them," White said in a news conference in August.
7NEWS Investigators have found no evidence that White's claim is true and White offered no documentation that such a report was ever received.
After Chandler's death, the state Department of Human Services launched its own investigation. It, too, has never seen any documentation of home schooling, and sources familiar with the investigation confirm there is no such documentation.
In fact, state investigators confirmed that there is no mention of home schooling in any Denver file that state officials reviewed, pertaining to Chandler.
In the news conference in August, White made it clear that state investigators reviewed all relevant material saying, "They have had access to all files."
Those files include a child abuse report to Denver Human Services hotline on April 17, three weeks before Chandler died. Teachers noted that Chandler "has not been seen since March 9."
The report also stated, "Dad reported there were family problems" and "my lawyer will come withdraw him from school."
No mention of home schooling was made and White's claim that the teacher knew Chandler was being home schooled clearly shifted the blame, in part, from White's agency to Denver Public Schools. A major Denver newspaper, taking White at her word, editorialized that the school was partially at fault.
The charge angered many, especially those at Holm Elementary School, who worked hard to save Chandler's life.
7NEWS contacted Denver Human Services asking for documentation to back up White's claim.
A spokeswoman offered no such paperwork and would not explain why, saying "We are not going to discuss this further."
If there is no documentation that Chandler was being home schooled, then what is the real reason Denver Human Services did not check on the little boy back in April?
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