December 20, 2014

Elyria
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Child protection agency vows to review protocols after 2-year-old’s death

ELYRIA — Lorain County Children Services is reviewing how the agency could avoid incidents like the death of 2-year-old Aaviana Payne in the future.

Lopez

“We have been and are currently reviewing our procedures in relation to this tragedy,” said Patti-Jo Burtnett, a spokeswoman for the agency.

Children Services had been investigating the family after an incident about three weeks before Aaviana’s death, but the details of that investigation are confidential, Burtnett said.

Burtnett said the agency did not know whether Luis Lopez, a suspect in Aaviana’s death, had been living in the home or caring for children during the investigation. If the agency had known he was caring for children, his previous child-endangering conviction would have been a concern, she said.

Lopez, 25, was arrested and charged Friday with involuntary manslaughter and child endangering in connection with Aaviana’s death on Sept. 11.

As a condition of a year of probation served for a previous conviction for child endangering in 2008, he was not allowed to care for children younger than 10. Lopez’s probation ended March 23, 2010.

Burtnett said the family told Children Services during the initial investigation that no one but Margot Young, 26, and her two children were living in the apartment. Lopez was Young’s boyfriend.

Dr. Stephen Evans, Lorain County coroner, found in September that Aaviana died because of a head injury. Aaviana’s right leg had been in a cast for a broken ankle and broken femur, possibly from two separate injuries, Evans said.

She also had grease burns on her arms that were healing.

Contact Kiera Manion-Fischer at 329-7123 or kfischer@chroniclet.com.