Social workers and police had documented the little boy’s abuse for years.
Pictures taken by authorities show a black eye and various markings on the little boy’s body over the course of his life.
Adrian even told state employees his parents were abusing him.
Since Adrian’s death, countless people from all across the country, many of whom refer to themselves as, “Adrian’s Warriors,” have written letters to state leaders asking for an investigation into DCF.
Over the past six months, the 41 Action News investigators have requested several interviews with Phyllis Gilmore, the secretary of DCF, but each request was denied.
It's not known if policies and procedures were followed in Adrian's case.
No independent oversight of DCF
The Kansas Child Death Review Board looks at each case in which a child dies in the state of Kansas.
However, it’s not independent from DCF, and the reports are two years behind.
This year, lawmakers implemented the Child Welfare System Task Force to examine the issues surrounding DCF.
However, state Sen. Laura Kelly said, DCF doesn't always give the task force complete or accurate information.
Kelly also said DCF does not have to give the task force files of children who have died and had a history with DCF.
So, there's no way to know if protocol was followed.
“I’m concerned about the lack of transparency,” Kelly said. “I’m concerned that there’s not objective review of incidents that occur.”
Who oversees Kansas DCF?
If state lawmakers can’t hold DCF accountable, the 41 Action News Investigators wanted to know who could.
When looking at the rest of the country, we found that 11 states, including Missouri, have a Children’s Ombudsman Office to serve as an independent watchdog overseeing protective services.
If protective services had involvement with a child who dies, the ombudsman is required to conduct a review of the child's case.
It can then determine if social workers conducted proper investigations in cases where children were abused to death.
As a result of its findings, the ombudsman can implement additional training for social workers and prompt changes in policies.
In Missouri, if someone complains that a child is being abused and social services are not appropriately following up on the case, the ombudsman can step in and remove the child from the home if necessary.
However, Kansas, has no such office.
“I think an ombudsman needs to be in there,” Kelly said. “Families who have a grievance, the only place they have to go for a grievance, is to those they feel aggrieved by. That doesn’t make any sense.”
His short life is sadly reminiscent of Adrian Jones.
In 2012, 4-year-old Mekhi Boone, was removed from his biological mother’s care after he was found wandering alone in a grocery store.
In November of that year, the state of Kansas sent Mekhi to live with his father, Lee Davis, even though a lawsuit later filed by his mother says it shouldn't have.
When DCF removed Mekhi from his mother, the agency alerted its contractor that Mekhi could not be placed in the care of his father because Davis was dangerous, according to the complaint.
Davis had a previous domestic violence charge on his record, but still, Mekhi was sent to live with Davis, according to the lawsuit.
Within six days, DCF received a hotline call from Mekhi’s preschool in Hiawatha, Kansas.
The principal reported Mekhi had bruising on his abdomen.
According to staff, Mekhi said, “He likes going to Grammy's but hates going to his dad's. He said, ‘He slaps me.’”
When asked by a teacher where his dad slaps him, Mekhi said, “All over.”
In December, during a visit with Mekhi, a state employee noticed he had more bruises, the lawsuit states.
The boy’s father claimed Mekhi fell onto a futon while playing and DCF did not remove the little boy from his father’s care.
Three months later, Mekhi was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City where he died.
“There is not a two-inch part of his body that does not have bruises. He was beat to death,” the record states.
Mekhi also had “sexual trauma.”
Davis was sentenced to 20 years in prison for second-degree murder.
Davis’s live-in girlfriend was also sentenced to 10 years in prison for Mekhi’s death, though her exact involvement isn’t clear.
The lawsuit against DCF and its contractor settled out of court in 2016 for an undisclosed amount.
Like Adrian, Evan Brewer’s death made national headlines.
In September, the 3-year-old’s remains were found in a makeshift coffin inside a home in Wichita, Kansas, where the little boy lived with his mother and her boyfriend.
The boy’s grandfather, Carl Brewer, is a gubernatorial candidate and former mayor of Wichita.
“We have to have trained individuals that are responsible for keeping an eye on our children,” Carl Brewer said.