Investigation into Perry County Child's Death - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Perry County, MO

Investigation into Perry County Child's Death

Investigation into Perry County Child's Death
By: CJ Cassidy

An investigation gets underway in Perry County, Missouri, as authorities try to figure out what led to a four-year-old boy's death.Police say the child was diagnosed with a Staph infection.

A Staph infection is actually quite common; many people live with it on their skin without even knowing they have it.The infection typically enters the body through a cut, and can be treated with antibiotics.But it can also cause other problems like pneumonia and bone infections.According to the Centers for Disease Control, typically good hygiene can prevent staph infections.

The Perry County Sheriff says case workers with the Missouri Children's Division visited the house last year and again at the beginning of this month.That was after someone tipped investigators off about unhealthy living conditions at the house.

Now some family members want to know if it was those conditions that led to Ethan William's infection."We just want to know what happened what went wrong how a little guy that age could get so sick so quickly," William's cousin, Tressa Cooper says."Ethan was diagnosed with pneumonia at the Perry County Memorial Hospital and they found he had a staph infection, so he was flown to Cardinal Glennon where they found gangrene in his blood stream and that his lungs had collapsed," Cooper says.

Sheriff Gary Schaaf says investigators visited the home Ethan lived in, with his mother and two other young brothers last year, after receiving a tip about conditions inside."DFS went in took a good look at the place gave a lot of suggestions on how to clean stuff up," Sheriff Schaaf says, adding that a recent visit didn't show much improvement.

Little Ethan became visibly ill soon afterwards.

The Sheriff says the investigation concerns all three children because the other children have also been diagnosed with the Staph infection.

Another question Ethan's cousin Tressa Cooper has, involves a flier posted around town showing a very sick Ethan lying in his hospital bed."We were very distraught about it was very graphic," Cooper says. She says she prefers to remember Ethan another way; as a little boy so full of life.

Relatives on Ethan's mother's side of the family say they're also mourning his loss, and say they can't believe he's gone. The other two children are in protective custody right now.

Employees with the Missouri Children's Division say they can't give out information on active cases.

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