Governor Tom Vilsack will review the file of complaints to the Department of Human Services over the living conditions of the five-year-old northern Iowa girl who was murdered this month.
The D-H-S fielded more than a dozen complaints that five-year-old Evelyn Miller of Floyd (shown in picture above) was being abused or neglected. “First of all, let me say that the entire state is terribly affected and impacted by the death of a five year old child,” Vilsack says. “This was a sweet, innocent child who through no fault of hers found herself in a circumstance and a situation that is just unacceptable.” “The people or person responsible for this ought to be found, ought to be prosecuted, ought to be punished to the fullest extent of the law and then God’s justice should be (meted out) in the afterlife.”
Miller’s mother discovered her daughter missing early July 1st when she returned to the family’s apartment after her overnight shift. The girl’s body was found near Charles City last Wednesday night. Vilsack says the director of the Department of Human Services is reviewing the complaints state social workers fielded about the girl’s living conditions.
“As I look at this file, I’m obviously going to be looking at what was said and what was reported and how (Department of Human Services social workers) responded to that and also what steps and information family members may have had, what involvement they may have had in asking for assistance or direction and what action was taken by them as well,” Vilsack says.
The mother’s fiancee was babysitting Evelyn the night she disappeared, and authorities have searched the home of two Charles City men who had visited the apartment that night. Vilsack’s not speculating about guilt. “I think it is really inappropriate to jump to any conclusions about anybody’s activities until you know all the facts, and nobody knows all the facts,” the governor says.
This is the second time Vilsack has reviewed D-H-S case files on a child welfare case. After reviewing the recent case of a Winterset girl who was found locked in a barren room, underweight and malnourished, Vilsack said the D-H-S had handled that case appropriately.