Kansas agency finds abuse and neglect in Wichita boy's death

WICHITA, Kan. — Kansas child welfare authorities investigated two reports of possible abuse or neglect involving a Wichita couple in the 17 months before their 3-year-old son was found dead in his crib.

The Kansas Department of Children and Families on Thursday completed its investigation into the April 12 death of Zaiden Javonovich, who authorities believe was dead days before his body was discovered.

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In a report summary obtained by The Associated Press through an open records request, the agency said it found physical abuse and neglect in the case but provided no other details.

Zaiden's mother, Brandi Marchant, 22, and his father, Patrick Javonovich, 28, are charged with felony murder and child abuse in Zaiden's death. His body was found April 11 when police went to the home after receiving a call about a domestic disturbance. Zaiden's 4-month-old brother, who is Marchant's son, was found injured and hospitalized in critical condition.

In November 2017, the Department of Children and Families investigated possible emotional abuse after a report that Marchant made homicidal and suicidal statements in front of the children. One child who reported a homicidal statement mentioned Zaiden, according to the report. Several people were interviewed but investigators could not substantiate the claim.

A year later, the department was told the younger boy tested positive for marijuana at birth. The case could not be investigated as an abuse/neglect case because medical officials did not indicate the boy's health was hurt by marijuana use, the summary states.

Instead, a Family in Need of Assessment case was started. A social worker who met with the couple found both children appearing healthy, with all necessary supplies for the infant, according to the report. The parents, who are not married, completed a federally required plan of safe care and in another visit, Marchant completed a Department of Children and Families safety plan. The case was closed Jan. 14.

The Wichita Eagle reported the agency rejected a request for information about the younger boy. Spokesman Eric Smith confirmed the department received a report of alleged abuse and is investigating.

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