12 Montana children with reported abuse cases in the system die in 2018

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) Child abuse reports were filed in each case, but for twelve Montana children in 2018, it didn't make a difference.

The Office of Child and Family Ombudsman looked at 12 deaths of children who died within a year of their cases being reported to Child and Family Services.

Their report shows two cases reported by a doctor or law enforcement were never marked for investigation by the child abuse hotline.

Of the 12 children that died, seven were under the age of one.

The cases so far include a deliberate murder and a negligent murder, two are being investigated, one cause of death is undetermined, three have been ruled accidental, two were suicides and two deaths were caused by medical complications because the mother used drugs while pregnant.

The Department of Justice says the state of Montana needs public campaigns about reporting child abuse and safe sleep for newborns.