Children of Erie County couple had history of neglect, prior court supervision

Neglect traced to Cuyahoga County

CLEVELAND - The Vermilion couple whose 18-month-old died from malnutrition, and six other children were removed from their home, has a history of abuse allegations dating back seven years.

Erie County Sheriff's deputies discovered the body of 18-month-old Isaac Alan Brothers-Bartholomew inside a Vermilion Township home and suspect the infant suffered from extreme malnourishment and dehydration.

Hospital officials said four of the remaining six children are at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in stable condition.

The children's parents have been identified as Adrienne Bartholomew and James Brothers.

Meanwhile, an exclusive 5 On Your Side investigation has uncovered court records that show this is not the first time the family has come to the attention of child welfare officials.

Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services confirmed it first investigated the family after a neglect report was filed in July of 2005 that ultimately was unsubstantiated.

In January 2007, a second neglect report resulted in court ordered protective supervision after medical neglect issues were confirmed.

Cuyahoga County child welfare officials said that the court order allowed them to stay involved with the family, consisting of four children at the time, over an 11-month period of supervision.

Cuyahoga Children and Family Services remained involved in the case until December 2007 -- even traveling to the family's new home in Vermilion to ensure the courts and local child welfare officials were fully involved in the case.

Erie County child welfare officials did not return our calls regarding whether additional neglect complaints were filed against the family since 2007.

"The family has a long history of avoiding outside support or services," according to Cuyahoga County officials who closed their case in late 2007.

The mother's 911 call earlier this week about her 18-month-old disabled son sent an ambulance crew to the couple's home where they found the undersized baby dead and the six other children, most physically or mentally disabled, malnourished.

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