State leaders responsible for placing foster children in good homes are looking at some major changes after a baby died in foster care. Kadillak Poe-Jones died in her car seat after being left there for more than two hours. Police say the heat index was 94 degrees, but it was much hotter inside the car.
Kadillak's foster father, Seth Jackson, is charged with first degree felony murder in her death. Department for Children and Families Secretary Phyllis Gilmore has been upfront about her support of prosecutors in the Jackson case.
The arrest affidavit, obtained by FactFinder 12, says Jackson's partner admitted he and Jackson smoked marijuana during the time Kadillak was left in the car.
DCF spokesperson Theresa Freed says that investigation has prompted the Secretary to talk with other state leaders about stricter accountability measures for Kansas foster parents. Freed says Gilmore and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment are discussing the possibility of required drug tests. Freed says each test costs the state anywhere from $23 to $40.
FactFinder 12 obtains arrest affidavit
Before July 1, Kansas was the only state in the country that did not release arresting affidavits to the public. The affidavit shows what probable cause police use to arrest someone. That information is now public record.
For the first time since the new law passed, FactFinder 12 filed a request to get access to the affidavit for the Jackson case. In that paperwork, sworn statements from the first officers on the scene paint a vivid picture of what happened.
The affidavit says Jackson made four phone calls from his front yard while medics worked to save his 10-month-old foster daughter. Officers say they heard Jackson tell someone on the phone,"I left her in the car. She's dead. She's dead."
Jackson told police he went to pick up Kadillak from a babysitter and grabbed pizza for dinner, but left the baby in the backseat of the car when he returned home. After that, the documents say Jackson's partner told officers they "watched 1 1/2 episodes of Game of Thrones" and "smoked marijuana that Seth had picked up that day."
The affidavit also says it was not until they "heard a child crying on the television show" that Jackson remembered Kadillak was still in the car. That was more than two hours after arriving home.
One of the officer's statements says Jackson then ran to his car and pulled the baby from her car seat. Jackson's partner told police Kadillak was "hot to the touch and stiff" when they found her. Jackson's partner said while he called 911, Jackson attempted CPR.
Jackson, charged with first degree murder, was released on bond over the weekend. He's expected back in court August 13.