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Mother speaks out after 3-year-old son drowns while in state custody

GREENVILLE, S.C. — For the first time, the mother of a little boy who drowned while in DSS custody is speaking out.

WHNS reports on Labor Day, 3 year-old, Za’marion Wilcox drowned at a community pool while he was with his foster family in Greenville County.

The Department of Social Services opened an investigation into what happened and has since completed the investigation. The agency provided FOX Carolina with the following statement on the incident:

“The Department also conducted an investigation into the death of Za’Marion Wilcox and on October 20, 2016, indicated a case for physical neglect. SCDSS received a timely notice of appeal regarding its determination and the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) will set this matter for a hearing.”

The determination was appealed. The three year-old’s mother, Njamena Wilcox, is upset, because she says she wasn’t kept in the loop during the investigation by DSS.

“Nobody called and let me know. No one has called about what’s going on,” explained Wilcox. “I still don’t know. I’m still contacting investigators.”

Bruce Wilson, a community activist with Fighting Injustice Together, said he would like to see more transparency in this case.

“We asked to be included, for the investigation to be transparent, so this mother would know what happened to her baby,” Wilson said.

Wilcox tells us her 7-year-old daughter is still in the custody of Social Services and has asked to be moved to a family member’s home following the drowning of Za’Marion Wilcox.

The Greenville County Sheriff’s office has launched a separate investigation into the 3-year-old’s death, and is still looking into the case.

“I just lost everything,” Wilcox said.