Ten-month old Braxton Taylor was abused to death by his second foster mother, Kathleen Ganiere. She tricked Virginia Beach social-services workers with her lies about how Braxton became bruised and battered. She is now in prison, and at first, she was the only person Beach social services leaders held responsible.
But a NewsChannel 3’s investigation dug deeper. We convinced Braxton’s first foster parents to tell their story.
They all told NewsChannel 3 social workers missed or ignored serious signs of abuse. They gave us pictures and medical reports the city wanted to keep secret.
And after all that, Beach Human Services Director Robert Morin decided Braxton’s case did need another look.
“The problem I have is that we should have protected Braxton a lot better than what we did.”
He promised a state review, and for the first time, we know what that investigation will cover. This document shows the state’s human resources department will hire outside child-welfare experts.
The investigation will include an “analysis of the decisions and actions” at Virginia Beach Human Services, and the policies in place at the time of the death.
It will also include interviews with dozens of people including all foster parents, all workers and supervisors who had any involvement in Braxton’s case, along with doctors, Braxton’s court appointed lawyer, and the Virginia Beach city attorney.
And in our second interview with Robert Morin, he promised this investigation will be public.
It is not clear whether the Virginia Beach city attorney will cooperate with the investigation. Attorneys there have told us, prosecutors and the Braxton family’s lawyers that all documents about this case are secret.