What happened to David Almond?
Report summarizes tragic chain of events
The state Office of the Child Advocate released a scathing 106-page report on Wednesday detailing enormous failures by the Department of Children and Families and others that ultimately led to the death of David Almond, an autistic 14-year-old boy who was returned to custody of his father, John Almond, despite numerous signs of the danger he faced there. John Almond and his girlfriend, Jaclyn Coleman, are now facing second-degree murder charges in David Almond’s death. Below is a summary included in the Child Advocate report of what happened following the return of David Almond from state custody to his father in March 2020.
Between his return home on March 13, 2020 and his death on October 21, 2020, David experienced abuse, starvation, and was deprived of a safe and nurturing home environment. Mr. Almond and Ms. Coleman made ongoing and deliberate efforts to keep him from receiving any therapeutic or education services, and his presentation during monthly DCF virtual home visits was orchestrated.
David never received any community-based therapeutic services. David also did not attend Fall River Public Schools, in-person or virtually, and did not receive any special education services. Although Fall River Public School staff had contact with Ms. Coleman, school staff never saw or spoke with David from March 16, 2020, when he was scheduled to begin school, to the time of his death.
The last DCF virtual home visit was on September 25, 2020. David died three and a half weeks later.