- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) - State child welfare officials may not have fully vetted a Port St. Lucie foster parent charged with murdering a 2-year-old boy in his care.

The Florida Department of Children and Families issued Michael Beer his foster care license last year even though 20 years earlier he had failed to aid a 2-year-old girl who suffered broken bones from child abuse. The Miami Herald reported (https://hrld.us/1uFfqJW) Thursday that when DCF discovered its oversight this year, it still renewed Beer’s license.

Beer was arrested last week on charges that he murdered Trysten Adams by beating him to death. Trysten had been under the care of Beer and his wife since July. Police said the child sustained severe lacerations to his liver, along with bruising to his kidney, gall bladder, pancreas and rib cage.

DCF officials said Thursday that two of its private contractors had the lead role in interviewing and obtaining background information on the Beers as potential foster parents in 2013 and 2014. A DCF spokeswoman said the 1993 abuse allegation is not an automatic disqualifier by law and that the agency worked with its private contractors during the process of renewing the couple’s license.

After the child’s death, documents obtained by the Miami Herald note a Port St. Lucie detective “asked why the surviving children are still in the care of the Beer.” An investigator said the agency had scheduled a staffing for the next day, but that upper management at the department decided not to remove the children from the Beers.

DCF said they waited to remove the children because Trysten’s death was originally thought to be as a result of bacterial infection.

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Information from: The Miami Herald, https://www.herald.com

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