Child fatality review boards investigate unnatural death cases

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HANCOCK COUNTY, Ind. (Sept. 16, 2015) - A group of county officials will lead a child death review board in Hancock County, aimed at understanding and preventing deaths from unnatural causes.

The review board is state mandated and regulated by the Department of Health. The goal is to come up with plans to keep children safe.

In Hancock County, the board consists of the coroner, first responders, educators, Department of Child Services, the prosecutors office, and law enforcement.

“What we’re really after here is more accurate and better information so we can have a safer community overall and then more accurate and better information so we all understand what may be normal, what may be accidental." said Hancock Co. Prosecutor, Brent Eaton.

The prosecutors office won't say if they are specifically looking into recent cases, like the death of 1-year-old Zoey Wagoner. They do say though, they will meet to discuss details on any case where a child under the age of 18 dies on unnatural causes. That could be anything from an intentional death to accidental, like a car accident or fire.

“It could be something as simple as maybe there’s a number of accidents in a particular place and the correct thing to do is maybe work with that local community to do what we can to try to get a crossing guard or something that would be more well lit," Eaton said.

The group will meet monthly and following cases of unnatural child death. The meetings are closed to the public.