TOPEKA (KSNT)- The Topeka Police Department has released new information in the case of slain five-year-old Zoey Felix.
Felix was found dead earlier this month, after being raped and murdered near a campsite, where she was staying with her father.
Several home visits were made by cops in the months leading up to Zoey’s death. The Kansas Department of Children Families (DCF) also reported last week that the agency received nine reports involving the child; six were assigned for further investigation.
In a statement to Kansas Capitol Bureau on Friday, Gretchen Spiker, a spokeswoman for the Topeka Police Department, revealed that ‘human error’ led to a referral not being sent to DCF.
“The information provided was preliminary, and at the time, believed to be accurate. Recently, the Topeka Police Department (TPD) learned that the referral to DCF on September 5, 2023, about Zoey Felix did not occur. Per protocol, the responding TPD Officer provided the report to TPD’s Records Unit to be processed and forwarded to DCF. A human error occurred within the Records Unit, and the Officer’s report was not transferred to DCF. TPD deeply regrets this human error, and has taken steps to avoid this type of error from occurring in the future. TPD made two referrals about Zoey Felix to DCF in 2022 on November 2 and November 9.”Gretchen Spiker, Topeka Police Department Spokeswoman
In an interview with Kansas Capitol Bureau, DCF Secretary Laura Howard said that the agency was not able to locate Felix in the weeks that she was living at a campsite, after being kicked out of her mother’s home.
Topeka police officers were aware that she was no longer living at home. However, they failed to relay that information to state officials.
Previously, Spiker noted that police were called to Felix’s home for a September 5 welfare check. However, information from that visit was not sent to DCF.
“The report itself was not transferred to DCF, however, DCF was informed about the report by TPD via a phone call,” Spiker stated.
Spiker said that if there is a referral to send, reports are compiled and forwarded once every weekday to DCF. Any referrals that occur over the weekend are compiled and transferred to DCF Monday morning.
She said additional checks and balances and supervisory oversight have been put in place in the TPD Records Unit.