State keeps malnourished girl
The child stays under care after her parents are probed by police
The 11-year-old girl found malnourished in her Makiki apartment on Sunday remains under state custody after a three-day investigation was completed.
The state Department of Human Services' Child Protective Services concluded its investigation Wednesday but will not release any of its findings except to say that the child remains under the state's care.
The girl's parents, Denise and Melvin Wright Jr., are suspects in what police have classified as a first-degree assault case. However, no arrests have been made.
Spokesman Derek Dahilig declined to provide information on the investigation's findings because it involves a minor. Dahilig said that with any case involving possible child abuse or neglect, the state investigates the incident for three working days after it is discovered to see whether the allegations are true.
"If they're not, we return the child," Dahilig said. "If they are, we will petition the family court to keep the child in foster custody when we feel the safety and well-being of a child is in danger."
Dahilig added that because circumstances can be different for each case, the results might differ as well, "but we don't disclose the findings."
If a child is kept by the state, Dahilig said, the family could be referred to counseling or provided other family services.
"In a case of severe abuse or neglect, we may petition the family court for permanent care," said Dahilig, adding that the girl is under temporary care for now.
The girl weighed about 35 to 40 pounds when she was found in her Kinau Street apartment Sunday afternoon. Pediatricians have said an 11-year-old child should be about 65 to 75 pounds, depending on its height.
The parents have a previous conviction of endangering the welfare of a minor in the second degree, a misdemeanor. The mother pleaded guilty while the father pleaded no contest. Both were granted a one-year deferral of their pleas.