Prince William County Police Chief Orders Review of Case of Alexis "Lexie" Agyepong-Glover, Whose Mother Is Charged With Killing Her
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Prince William County Police Chief Charlie T. Deane ordered a review yesterday of whether his department could have better responded to repeated complaints about an adoptive mother who later was charged with killing her 13-year-old daughter.
The review will examine "all police actions, policies, and procedures related to this case," as well as "how the Department can better recognize situations of children in extreme need and to equip our officers with additional approaches and resources to assist in these types of cases," Deane said in a statement.
He has asked the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for assistance with the investigation because of "their expertise in helping law enforcement work with parents and children in times of need."
The review comes after a Washington Post report quoted several people who said they notified county police, social services and school officials that the girl, Alexis "Lexie" Agyepong-Glover, was being abused and neglected by her mother, Alfreedia Gregg-Glover, in the months leading to the killing.
In spite of the reports, Lexie was not removed from her home. Gregg-Glover has been charged with killing Lexie by placing her in a shallow creek and leaving her for dead.
In the two years before her death in January, Lexie's school bus drivers and their attendants said they reported seeing her mother drive off with her in the trunk of her car. They also said Lexie went to the bus in the morning in her underwear and boarded the bus with physical injuries. Neighbors reported to police that she went to their house barely clothed and with a head wound, saying her mother had hit her with a stick.
Last week, Gregg-Glover was indicted on charges of killing and abusing Lexie and for lying to police. On Jan. 7, she told them Lexie had run away, when in fact she had placed her in the creek, still alive, authorities said. Lexie was found two days later, dead from drowning and exposure to cold.
Deane said there is no time frame for the review. He will make the results public unless state or county law prevents certain portions from being released.
On Friday, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors called for an expedited review of the child welfare system. That review, by state officials, is expected to take three months. County Executive Craig S. Gerhart said yesterday that the county would review the report's findings to redact any confidential information before making them public.
Also yesterday, Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R) called the allegations "horrendous" but said it was too early to say whether any local officials failed to respond appropriately.
He said county officials should wait for the review by the Virginia Department of Social Services before taking any action. The review is standard procedure in the case of a child fatality at the hands of a parent.
"The facts as reported in the newspaper are absolutely horrendous, but whether or not a child should be pulled out of a house, that's something you've got to ask the professionals about," Stewart said. "I guess with any case, hindsight is 20/20. . . . After we get the results of that, we'll have to potentially take action. . . . In the meantime, we'll have to sit tight."
Jack Ledden, director of the county's Department of Social Services, released a statement yesterday reiterating that privacy laws keep him from commenting but saying that his agency would cooperate fully with the state review. A Prince William schools spokesman declined to comment on Lexie's case, citing confidentiality rules.
Supervisor W.S. Covington III (R-Brentsville) agreed that the county needed to see the state's report before taking action but said that, in general, he would like to see more transparency in the juvenile system, including social services and courts, both of which have strict confidentiality laws.
He said the closed nature of the system keeps local officials from knowing whether things are working properly and from making necessary reforms and funding decisions.
"We need to get to a more open place," Covington said.