DCF Shrugged Off Pills' Danger

Mar 21, 2014

Another in the “Innocents Lost” series by The Miami Herald, which began last weekend, tells the story of a 5-year-old girl who died despite warnings to the Department of Children and Families. The reporting team found 477 children in Florida died over six years after their families were warned of danger.

The latest story involves Ashton-Lynette Arnold, who died in October 2012 of a fatal drug overdose after swallowing a handful of drugs at the home of her mother’s friends. , her mother and three others were charged.  Her mother Elizabeth Rydbom and three others have been charged with neglect.

State records show that DCF, whichknew Rydbom was a drug addict, had offered her drug treatment but never followed through to make sure she cleaned up, the Herald said.  The child lived with her grandmother for the first two years of her life and her grandmother wanted to seek custody, but says DCF discouraged that. So Rydbom was able to take the girl away.   

On Thursday, the Herald described how DCF completely missed the deadly impact on children of the pill-mill epidemic.