State ignored warnings before boy's death, grandmother says

Police say woman killed 2-year-old son before suicide attempt

By Ian Margol - Reporter, Tim Swift - Digital Editor

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - The mother of a woman accused of killing her 2-year-old son said that she repeatedly warned state authorities that her grandson was in danger, but her calls went unanswered.

“I lost my grandson because they never took action,” Yalerkys “Gigi” Ramos said of officials with the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Police said Nathaly Ramos, 22, stabbed her son, Alphonse Gonzales, to death Sunday morning and then tried to kill herself.  She’s also accused of attacking her boyfriend with a Taser and a knife.

According to DCF, officials were in the beginning stages of a child protective investigation involving Nathaly Ramos. Alphonse was placed in the care of his grandmother and uncle.

But Yalerkys Ramos said DCF told them they still had to allow Nathaly Ramos to see the toddler, even though Yalerkys Ramos knew her daughter was mentally unstable.

“Because she’s not right in her mind and the only thing they tell you is you cannot take her visitation rights away from her,” Yalerkys Ramos said.

Yalerkys Ramos said she left several voicemails with Alphonse’s case workers, but her calls were not returned.

“If you would have took action when the time was right, Alphonse ... would still be alive today,” Yalerkys Ramos said.

Jessica K. Sims, a spokeswoman for DCF, said the agency is not a law enforcement agency and does not have legal authority to limit parents’ access to their children.

“It’s the responsibility of the family to work with the department to keep a child safe,” Sims said.

DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said the agency had opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Alphonse’s death.

“DCF will also conduct a thorough quality assurance review of all interactions this family had with the child welfare system,” Carroll said.

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