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Oklahoma Department of Human Services worker testifies in trial concerning foster child's death

Edmond foster parent has been charged in the death of a child she was caring for in 2009.
BY TIFFANY GIBSON Published: September 23, 2011

— Attorneys cross-examined a state child welfare worker Thursday in the child abuse trial of Amy Holder. Holder is accused of abusing Naomi Whitecrow, 2, who died after four months in foster care with Holder, of Edmond.

Holder has been charged with felony child abuse in connection with the death. Investigators said Naomi had been living with Holder for four months before her death on January 20, 2009, at 7751 Prairie View Road in Edmond.

The Oklahoma medical examiner's office found recent scrapes and bruises on Naomi's face, chest, back legs, right buttock and head, as well as old and new scabs.

Her death was first ruled undetermined, but an Indiana pathologist was able to review the evidence and reported the girl died of blunt-force injury to the head, abdomen and extremities.

The trial for Holder began this week with jury selection Tuesday and opening statements Wednesday.

Prosecutors called Lashelle Humphreys, a Department of Human Services worker, to the stand Thursday to talk about her interaction with the child and her foster parents.

Humphreys said she became involved in the case in 2008 when DHS was asked to intervene when a baby boy tested positive for cocaine at a hospital.

She said the mother, Kayla Whitecrow, also had cocaine and marijuana in her system, according to medical staff.

As the primary worker on the case, Humphreys said Kayla Whitecrow's two children, including Naomi, were removed from the household in February 2008. They were placed with foster parent Alicia Taylor in Garfield County, she said.

When Kala Whitecrow checked into the Chi Hullo Li Rehabilitation Center, a Choctaw Nation substance abuse facility, to receive treatment, her two children were placed there with her, Humphreys testified.

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