YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – A child protection agency received reports of inadequate food and clothing, inappropriate discipline, and inadequate hygiene in the months before a 2-year-old boy died from physical abuse last September.
Other concerns were reported to Adams County Children and Youth Services regarding the mental health of the child’s mother, homelessness, and inappropriate caregivers, according to a quarterly summary of child fatalities and near fatalities on the state Department of Human Services website.
The boy’s mother, 22-year-old Leah Mullinix, of York, is awaiting trial on a felony count of child endangerment. Her paramour, 40-year-old Tyree Bowie, is charged with homicide in the death of Dante Mullinix.
According to the state report, the Adams County agency received the general protective service referrals between May 2017 and August 2018. A May 2017 referral was accepted for services but closed in October 2017. A March 2018 referral was determined to be invalid and the family was not accepted for services, and reports from June and August 2018 were screened out.
On Sept. 4, 2018, York County Office of Children, Youth and Families met with the family to discuss services, but the family was not opened for services at the time of the incident involving the child, the report states.
Dante Mullinix died nine days after Bowie dropped him off at York Hospital. Bowie told police he fed the boy animal crackers while driving then noticed he wasn’t breathing.
An autopsy found the cause of death to be a traumatic brain injury accompanied by strangulation and suffocation.
Leah Mullinix is charged with endangerment because police say she failed to provide proper medical care for her son.
According to the criminal complaint, Dante was treated at a hospital in August for penile swelling and ulcers believed to be consistent with balanitis, a very painful condition. Mullinix told the hospital staff that her son had been suffering from the condition for four days, but the staff told police it could have been longer.
Mullinix was given a prescription for medication and ointment that she failed to fill until child protection workers forced her to do so, the complaint states. She and her son were staying at a shelter, and the staff had filed a child abuse report because the boy had been screaming in pain for two days.
After the prescription was filled, the staff at the shelter had to instruct Mullinix on how to use the medication and even administer it themselves, police said.