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State details events leading up to 5-year-old's murder

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Posted: Aug 22, 2014 9:54 PM by Trey Schmaltz
Updated: Aug 23, 2014 1:24 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: child beaten, attempted murder, father arrested, vernell day, child abuse, Trey Schmaltz

BATON ROUGE- The state released details of its preliminary investigation in the death of a five-year-old who was allegedly killed by his father earlier in the week.

WBRZ's Investigative Unit obtained the information late Friday.

State case workers said Jay'V'une Bergin was passed from family member to family member for some 2 1/2 years. " Jay'v'une's mother, father and maternal relatives repeatedly shifted custody amongst themselves," the report outlined.

According to the state, his grandfather brought him to the state Department of Child and Family Services in May and said he could no longer take care of him. The state said the law required social workers to alert his biological father, Vernell Day, about the situaton. Day took custody of the child directly from the grandfather, the state reported.

"Following the voluntary transfer of custody, DCFS provided intensive family services as a support to the family, including weekly home visits, family counseling, child speech assessment and therapy, transportation and assistance with school enrollment," the report acknowledged.

Tuesday, Bergin was rushed to the hospital with severe injuries. Police said the child had been beaten. Thursday, he died from his injuries and Day was charged with murder.

The state's report suggests a different story from the one Jay'V'une's grandmother repeatedly told WBRZ producers and reporters. Kate Bergin said her family warned the state about placing Jay'V'une and his sister in Day's care. Bergin argued this week that she was left out of the process and was not allowed to see Jay'V'une when he was on a ventilator at an area hospital.

But, numerous times Bergin refused to share why her household family was not taking care of Jay'V'une and his sister, who was last seen leaving a custody hearing following Day's arrest with state case workers. The state report said nothing about Bergin's alleged warnings.

The state added, DCFS is working with police in the ongoing investigation.
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