DHHS investigation to begin following death of 10 year old girl

Julie Rabinowitz, Governor Paul LePage's Press Secretary, says an internal investigation into Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is set to begin immediately.

The request comes after numerous reports of people and agencies saying they had contacted DHHS with concerns regarding 10 year old Marissa Kennedy, who died on February 24th after her mother and stepfather allegedly beat her to death. Both are being charged with her murder.

Following these reports, President of the Senate Michael Thibodeau called on LePage's administration to investigate the department's handling of child abuse cases and provide a report of his findings.

Rabinowitz says these reviews are being carried out both internally and by cross-governmental entities.

The Child Death and Serious Injury Review Panel, an independent body that serves as the public’s review panel, will review this case.

DHHS is also conducting rigorous internal investigations that they say will include interviews with any and all staff involved and an assessment and determination of whether established policies and procedures were followed.

Rabinowitz says that all findings and recommendations of the investigations will be reported to Governor LePage for his review and action.

State Police are also conducting a thorough investigation into the case.

A copy of Senator Thibodeau's letter to Governor LePage is linked to this article.