Miami Herald by Carol Marbin Miller
June 21, 2019
For several hours, Wildine Joseph allowed her two small sons to play outside unsupervised in her apartment complex, long after the sun had set. When she saw them next, they were floating, unresponsive, in the community pool.
Ja’kye Joseph, 6, and his brother, Branario Minto, 5, died on the evening of May 22 in North Lauderdale. A heavily redacted incident report from the Florida Department of Children & Families said the boys, unnoticed, likely climbed over a fence surrounding the pool, while their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother remained in their apartment for an undisclosed amount of time.
Between 2015 and 2018, Florida child abuse investigators had looked into six prior reports that the boys had been abused or neglected, including a final report within the past year that confirmed the boys had been mistreated. The call to DCF two days after the siblings’ death was the seventh.
Under state statutes, Floridians have a right to oversee DCF’s performance when a child — or, in this case, children — die from the abuse or neglect of a caregiver. But, nearly a month after the boys’ deaths, DCF has refused to release any such records.