Killeen father angry after 16-month-old son almost drowns at foster home

Posted at 6:51 PM, Apr 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-14 21:22:00-04

A 16-month-old boy's biological father is angry after his son almost drowned Tuesday under the care of foster parents.

The baby boy was staying at a foster home in Caldwell, which is about an hour and a half southeast of Killeen. He was placed in that foster home in March 2015 after CPS removed him from his mother's custody. 

On Tuesday afternoon, James Crawford received a phone call from CPS no parent wants to get -- his son was found face down in a pond.

"The EMS people told me he was submerged in water for 10 minutes. It took them 17 minutes to find his pulse again," he said.

His son, Riley, was taken from the foster home in Caldwell to McLane Children's Hospital in Temple, where a machine has been helping him breathe. He's been recovering in ICU since Tuesday.

"There's still fluid in his lungs. There's swelling of the brain. They said even if his oxygen levels leveled out and his lungs cleared up, he could still possibly die of the brain swelling," Crawford said.

Crawford says he doesn't understand how the foster parents could have lost sight of his son.

"He escaped out of y'all's backyard and went 50 yards to a pond. That sounds like you didn't check in on him like you were supposed to," he said.

According to a Department of Family and Protective Services spokesperson, this isn't the first incident at this foster home, which has been licensed to care for foster children since January 2015.

In December 2015, the foster home was under a "minimum standards investigation" after the boy's half-sister tripped and hurt herself. DFPS' Residential Child Care Licensing found nothing wrong in their investigation.

The boy's father says he could have never expected this to happen.

"They said they were a licensed place. It was supposed to be a safe place...a good place for him," he said. "I would hate for this to happen to somebody else."

A deputy from the Burleson County Sheriff's Department says they don't intend to pursue any charges at this time.

DFPS' Residential Child Care Licensing and Office of Child Safety continue to investigate this incident.

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