ANDERSON, Ind. (WISH) –The deaths of two toddlers this year sparked a protest Friday morning in downtown Anderson.
The group that held the protest is demanding action from the Indiana Department of Child Services.
The protesters shouted “Little lives matter” and hoisted signs with pictures of two toddlers killed in Madison County: Harlan Haines and Paisley Hudson.
“Maybe they don’t have enough case workers, but it needs to be looked into,” protester Judith Parson said. “Because the system failed these babies.”
Parsons said she never met Harlan or Paisley, but their stories broke her heart.
Kayla Hudson, the mother of 1-year-old Paisley, faces a neglect charge, while Kayla’s boyfriend, Ryan Ramirez, on Thursday was charged with murder in connection to Paisley’s death on Saturday.
Courts documents filed Thursday state Kayla told investigators that Ramirez said to her, “You’re going to get CPS called on you. You’ve already lost one kid. You don’t want to lose (name redacted) too. We’ve got to come up with something.”
Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said he’s still investigating the case and teh involvement of DCS with Paisley. He said the child was hospitalized with a broken bone in October.
Protesters said they wanted Kayla Hudson to be charged with murder in her daughter’s death, too.
Cummings announced last week he plans to file murder charges in the case of 1-year-old Harlan Haines, who died in February.
Cummings said Harlan’s mom’s boyfriend injured Harlan last December, and DCS knew about the injuries but did not properly report them to Madison County authorities.
One protester walked by the local DCS office Friday and shouted, “Do you work for DCS? If so, you need to tell your coworkers to do their jobs.”
The agency has declined to comment on specific cases in the past.
A DCS spokesperson released the following statement Friday:
“I cannot speculate on these allegations. However, we take the death of any child seriously and will be working with Anderson officials to learn more about the circumstances leading to the tragic loss of these children.”