Ken Kreuscher tried to warn authorities that his son’s mother was acting violent and erratic and might hurt the boy.
Those authorities did nothing, and just days later she shot 5-year-old Kenny in his head while the boy slept, killing him.
The case is drawing attention to problems with the legal system, with many asking why Ken Kreuscher’s warnings fell on deaf ears.
Ken Kreuscher had taken steps to warn authorities about his ex, Sara Atkinson. He had already sought a restraining order against her, including court documentation of her erratic behavior, KDVR reported.
Ken Kreuscher said Sara’s behavior had become even more erratic in recent weeks, as she was not taking her medication and acting increasingly violent toward Kenny. After noticing that the 5-year-old had a large bruise, Ken even took a heartbreaking video of the boy as he recounted abuse from his mother.
Kenny: “She punched me like that”
Kreuscher: “Who punched you?”
Kenny: “I hit her. I hit her too.”
Kreuscher: “You hit her?”
Kenny: “Yeah, first. I hit her, right like that — smack.”
But when Ken Kreuscher tried to show the video to a case worker, he said they instead threatened him.
“And [the case worker] stood in front of me and pointed at my closet and said, ‘Unless your kid’s being stuck in a closet every day or beaten every day, I’m not going to do anything about it, and if you call back, if I hear back from you about this kind of stuff, I’m going to take him from you and her,'” Kreuscher told KDVR.
In early March, Sara took Kenny to Montana, and on March 5 she shot Kenny before killing herself.
“Got there two hours after he died,” Kreuscher told KDVR. “He fought for his life for over 12 hours.”
Ken Kreuscher points the finger at Denver Child Protection Services, who he said failed to heed his warnings about Sara’s behavior.
“Just erratic mental illness everywhere and no one really helped me,” Kreuscher said. “And I’m here because I don’t want this to happen to anybody else. It’s not right what they did.”
He noted that Sara was increasingly paranoid and was clearly in the throes of a mental health crisis.
“She was being really paranoid and you know, thinking there was cameras in my son’s shoes,” Kreuscher said.
As tragic as the murder of Kenny Kreuscher was, the boy’s father said it wasn’t unexpected.
“She had threatened to do it before,” Kreuscher told KUSA. “She said, ‘I’m going to kill myself. I’m going to take him with me.'”
Authorities from Denver Child Protective Services did not comment specifically on Kenny Kreuscher’s murder — citing a policy not to comment on specific cases — but spokeswoman Julie Smith did say they were looking into the case and what could have gone wrong.
“The loss of a child is an absolute tragedy for this family, their loved ones and friends, and for our community and agency. We are working to understand the circumstances surrounding this horrible act. However I do want to take this time to say that any parent out there who may be experiencing feelings of harming themselves or their child – our community is here to help you,” Smith said.
To make the case even more tragic, Kenny Kreuscher was supposed to celebrate his 6th birthday on Saturday. Instead he was laid to rest on Sunday morning.
[Image via Ken Kreuscher/9News]