Family of slain 2-year-old say DHS, FYIS to blame in south Tulsa toddler's death

TULSA, Okla. — The family of a two-year-old boy who died earlier this year is suing the Oklahoma Department of Human Services after they say DHS should have prevented the boy's death.

SEE MORE: Police investigate south Tulsa toddler death

The lawsuit says DHS and Family and Youth Intervention Services investigated Michael Rigney's family situation multiple times, as close as 24 hours before the boy was found dead.

Police arrested the boy's stepfather, Branden Taylor, in February on a murder complaint.

SEE MORE: Man arrested after south Tulsa toddler death

Tina Morgan, the boy's mother, is charged with allowing the abuse to happen.

The lawsuit says people reported Morgan to DHS multiple times since December 2015.

The complaint says Rigney had dangerous shelter, and Morgan said she didn't want her children and was afraid she might hurt them.

The lawsuit says child welfare made several attempts to get in touch with Morgan and couldn't. The worker reportedly found that any claims against her were unsubstantiated and closed the file.

The lawsuit also says Morgan was referred to Family and Youth Intervention Services, and the organization sent people to her home at least twice. One of those visits was only four days before Rigney's death, and the other was just 24 hours before his death.

The lawsuit says the organizations contributed to the death.

DHS said they had not seen the lawsuit yet when FOX23 contacted them.


5 Things to Know: Trending now on FOX23