DHS contacted about two-month old child and mother prior to child's murder

DENVER - The CALL7 Investigators have learned that the Denver Department of Human Services was contacted in May about the child whose mother is now charged with her murder.

Little Natalee Skinner-Hurst was born on May 14, and died at in July of massive head injuries and other trauma. Her mother, Kelsy Newell-Skinner is charged with murder and child abuse.

Denver police said they were called to Children's Hospital in Aurora at 11 p.m. that night. Arrest records say the child's grandmother brought the baby to Parker Adventist Hospital and the baby was transported to Children's Hospital with "severe bruising on her head, a swollen left eye, fractured ribs and suspected bite marks on her left thigh area."

Sources familiar with the investigation tell CALL7 Investigator John Ferrugia that when the 21-year old mother of five gave birth to Natalee at Swedish Medical Center in May, officials there called Denver Human Services, concerned about the child's welfare. While we have not confirmed the specific concern, hospital officials often call DHS and make what is called a "referral" if the child has been exposed to drugs.

It is unknown if, or how, the 'referral' was investigated. And it is not known if the mother was ever interviewed in the case.

But sources knowledgeable about the investigation confirm no case was opened by DHS.

The second referral to DHS was made when the child lay dying in the hospital.

The CALL7 Investigators have also learned the caseworker involved in the child's case resigned immediately after the child died and left the department. 

We have confirmed she is a young woman, and a new caseworker, who had been at DHS for about a year. 

CALL7 contacted her and she would not say why she resigned, but it was clear she was distraught about the child's death.

Police continue to investigate the alleged murder and Kelsy Newell-Skinner remains in jail.

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