New York City officials agreed to shell out $6 million into a trust to settle a case after a Staten Island boy vanished from a foster home after being denied an opportunity to remain with relatives, the NY Post reports.
City Administration for Children’s Services workers and foster-care agency St. Vincent’s Services were reportedly behind placing Patrick Alford, 7, and his sister in a foster home. The kids were taken from their aunt Blanca Toledo without a court order and were given to foster parents, the outlet reports.
According to court papers, the agency ignored Alford’s special needs which spiraled him into despair. They also argued that the process to remove the children was rushed and was the catalyst that contributed to Alford’s mental health issues.
Alford only spoke English, but was placed in Spanish speaking homes. He tried repeatedly to escape his foster family and reportedly had violent outbursts and suicidal thoughts, court papers said.
In Jan. 2010, while taking out the trash, Alford disappeared without a trace.
“We have no information that would dissuade us from searching for him,” said Jonathan Lerner, a lawyer appointed pro bono to represent Patrick’s legal interests.
The funds from the city can serve to help continue the process to locate Alford.
“Any information that comes to the trustee’s attention will be vetted by a professional. … There will be procedures to make sure any money spent will be spent wisely,” Lerner said.
The city said the settlement served “in the best interest of all the parties.”
Patrick Alford, who would be 15 years old now, is still missing.
Woman arrested for trying to scam family of missing child Lashaya Stine
A few months ago, a California woman has been arrested for trying to scam families of missing children, including the family of Lashaya Stine, who disappeared from Aurora in 2016.
Rozzari Young was busted in an undercover prostitution sting and during the arrest, investigators reportedly found her text message exchanges with two families, Yahoo.com reports.
Young has been charged with interstate transmission of a threat to injure with the intent to extort and interstate transmission of a threat to injure, according to a Yahoo.com report.