Family of child who died in foster care wants justice, safety for children in the system

Local News

Fabian Garett-Garcia died on July 25, 2017 at a hospital in Kailua-Kona. He had been in foster care, and had numerous injuries. 

We spoke with his father just days after.

“I don’t know how to explain it, it’s numbing. I don’t know, shock I guess. It’s shocking like unbelievable even after I saw him I couldn’t believe he was dead,” said Fabian’s father, Juben Garcia. 
     
Last August, Hawaii Island police re-classified the case to murder after getting a second opinion on the autopsy. Police arrested Fabian’s foster mother, Chastity Alcosiba-McKenzie on suspicion of murder. She was released and has not been charged.

Fabian’s biological mother is now suing the state, contract provider Catholic Charities, Alcosiba-McKenzie, and others.

“We’re seeking two things. The first is justice for Fabian’s ohana, as well as we’re seeking change that is supposed to protect children in a system that failed Fabian’s family. His parents, siblings and we fear children who are in this system right now at least on the outer islands, specifically on Hawaii island, unless changes are made, those children, they’re not safe. We hope this lawsuit can bring awareness to some of the problems with the system so we don’t have another case like this one,” said Jeff Foster, attorney for Fabian Garett-Garcia’s family.

He says Fabian’s mother notified social workers numerous times that she suspected Fabian was being abused.

“Unfortunately the warnings were never investigated, the children were never removed from the home pending an investigation,” said Foster.
     
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages. Foster says the amount would be decided by the jury.

“I think the solution starts and ends with safety and that the children entrusted to the temporary custody of the state are safe,” said Foster.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.