DHS worker charged with forgery in case that led to death of infant

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DENVER -- A former Denver Human Services caseworker was charged with forgery, evidence tampering and misconduct Thursday in a case that ended in the death of an infant.

Rotchana Madera, 27, allegedly entered false information into the official case tracking system regarding her work on the Kelsy Newell-Skinner case, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Newell-Skinner, 21, was later charged with first degree murder when her two-month-old daughter Natalee Skinner-Hurst was admitted to the hospital with skull fractures. The child subsequently died of her injuries.

Madera was assigned to the case around the time Natalee was born because her mother tested positive for marijuana. But investigators found that Madera covered up the fact that Natalee also tested positive for THC. She also never made a house visit or saw the victim, And even fabricated the phone calls she received according to authorities.

Madera closed the case in early July and then abruptly resigned around the time of Natalee’s death a few weeks later. That's when Denver human services began investigating.

The agency has continued to follow up with Madera's other cases to ensure there are no other oversights, DHS said.

“Denver Human Services takes its responsibility for protecting the most vulnerable among us very seriously," the agency said in a statement. "The overwhelming majority of our case workers do all they can each day to strengthen families and keep kids safe. We stand behind those workers and are confident in the work they do.

"In the unfortunate case when a worker fails to follow the law and fails to do all he or she can to keep kids safe, we are obligated to take the appropriate action and hold that case worker accountable, which is what transpired in this case.”

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