Neo-natal Nurse Taped Pacifier to Infant's Mouth
May 08, 2009
‘EVERYTHING WAS FINE’
DSS had received no complaints about Dukes as a foster parent before the death of Curtis, said Sue O’Toole, who oversees foster care licensing.
“We didn’t have any problems with her,” O’Toole said.
Dukes has 30 days to appeal the revocation of her foster care license, but cannot keep children during that time, O’Toole said.
DSS licensing regulators visited Dukes’ St. Andrews Road apartment several times while she was caring for foster children. “Everything was fine,” O’Toole said.
The agency learned of the taped pacifier from reporters, DSS attorney Virginia Williamson said.
Dukes, who is from Conway and received her nursing degree from Horry-Georgetown Technical College, had expressed interest early on in adopting, O’Toole said.
But she did not file a formal request.
Shirley Jivers, 50, of Cayce, is Curtis’ grandmother. She said she learned of the asphyxiation from a reporter Wednesday.
“I was speechless,” Jivers said. “I stayed up late and just sat on the porch. He was just a cheerful, happy baby, showed a lot of love. He was just one of a kind.”
Curtis recently had learned how to say “grandma” and “mama,” she said.
Jivers is concerned about the safety of her 2-year-old granddaughter, whom DSS placed in another foster home. Jivers said she has not seen the child since.
Authorities took both children when they tested positive for drugs. They took Curtis after Cayce police found him with his biological mother, Katrina Jivers, in a marijuana smoke-filled Cayce motel room. That occurred Feb. 7, the day before he died.
His sister, who wasn’t in the motel room, later tested positive for cocaine and DSS placed her in foster care.
“The first one, he didn’t last in their custody,” Shirley Jivers said. “I’m worried about her. I don’t want the same thing to happen to her.”
Staff writer Lee Higgins contributed to this article.