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Oklahoma woman whose special needs brother died calls for DHS investigation

Oklahoman Published: January 7, 2014
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A woman who says her special needs brother died from abuse is calling for an investigation into Oklahoma's child welfare services.

Valerie Wood-Harber presented an electronic petition with 460,000 signatures to Gov. Mary Fallin's office Wednesday. Wood-Harber is calling for an investigation into the agency after she made 22 unanswered calls in a span of weeks to report alleged abuse of her brother. Fifteen-year-old Quinten Wood later died of pneumonia.

Department of Human Services spokeswoman Sheree Powell says in a statement the agency is investigating the death with police and others.

DHS has been plagued with problems over the years, leading to a class-action lawsuit after the death of several children under the state's watch. Following the lawsuit, DHS announced approval of a $153 million plan to overhaul the system.