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A boy from Massachusetts has been missing since September, but police only learned about the disappearance earlier this month. The boy’s family was getting state social-services help. The boy’s mother, as well as her boyfriend, have been charged with the disappearance and the social worker and the worker’s supervisor have both been fired.
Jeremiah Oliver, 5, was reportedly last seen by relatives on Sept. 14. The prosecutor is treating Jeremiah's case as a possible homicide.
The Department of Children and Families had been using their services to help the boy’s family following a report of neglect in 2011. Commissioner Olga Roche called the boy’s disappearance a "deeply concerning case of neglect and abuse."
The social worker received a message from Oliver’s daycare that in June, Oliver would no longer be attending the daycare because he was moving to Florida with his grandmother. The information was neither confirmed nor checked by the social worker.
"This case represents a serious failure on the part of the social worker and supervisor assigned to the family," Roche said in a statement according to Boston.com. "The social worker assigned to this case did not conduct the required in-person monthly checks on the family, as required by the Department, and the supervisor failed to enforce that policy."
Both the social worker and supervisor were fired and their other cases are now under review.
Oliver’s mother, Elsa Oliver, 28, was charged with two counts of reckless endangerment of a child and two counts of being an accessory after the fact. She pleaded not guilty and was ordered to undergo a mental evaluation. Oliver's boyfriend, Alberto Sierra, was charged with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of assault and battery on a child. He also pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail according to the Associated Press.
Oliver has two other children. Both have been placed in the care of The Department of Children and Families.