The siblings of a 4-year-old found dead in his Cleburne home last month will likely remain in the care of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, at least for the time being.
An adversary hearing on the matter of the remaining children is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday in the 413th District Court.
According to a Rule 11 agreement filed Friday involving the children’s parents, Angel and David Cook, and the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office, the parties have agreed that Child Protective Services “shall continue to be named as temporary managing conservator of [the children],” and do not object to the entering of such order during the adversary hearing.
The agreement also states that CPS agrees to “maintain the current stated goal of family reunification,” but that that goal is subject to change at any point “upon the written notification of the permanency goal.”
CPS also agrees to create a “specialized family plan” for both parents and the children to attempt to provide services beneficial to the family.
The Cooks, under the agreement, do not waive their rights to request the return of their children and may request and proceed with a full hearing on the matter by filing any necessary motions at a later date.
Cleburne police and firefighters responded to a report of a child not breathing on March 22 at the Cook’s home to find Buddy Cook, 4, already deceased.
413th District Judge Bill Bosworth later ordered the remaining children in the home, who range in age from 1 to 12, into foster care pending the outcome of Monday’s hearing.
CPS officials, in the Affidavit in Support of Removal, allege that Buddy Cook died of malnourishment. Buddy’s body appeared emaciated — only skin and bones — according to the affidavit.
Rescue workers and investigators on scene also noted cuts and bruises on Cook’s body.
The same affidavits note, however, that Buddy Cook had food and water in his stomach and a full bladder and that his injuries were consistent with a fall.
The preliminary cause of Buddy Cook’s death, by dehydration and malnutrition, remains pending until the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office completes toxicology, histology and genetic studies, according to the affidavit.
Forensic Pathologist Lloyd White delivered the preliminary cause of death in March, but also said he was, “not comfortable ruling the death intentional at this time.”
Cleburne police and investigators await the results of Cook’s autopsy and continue their investigation with no charges or arrests having been made in the case.
The Cooks adopted Buddy from David Cook’s half-sister who, according to allegations in the affidavit, badly abused the boy.