DCFS releases details about family of 5-year-old murder victim

DCFS releases details about family of 5-year-old murder victim

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Department of Children and Family Services released a statement late Friday evening concerning the family situation of the 5-year-old boy, Jay'v'vune Bergin, allegedly beat to death by the hands of his father.

The statement reads:  "The safety of children is our top priority and the death of any child, at the hands of a care taker, is a tragedy that we take very seriously.  Louisiana law RS 46:56 states that when a child death has occurred and a medical professional has deemed the death to be the result of abuse or neglect, DCFS can release a summary statement containing certain information about the case. The following is a summary statement regarding Jay'v'une Bergin.

To date, DCFS' investigation has revealed that for the past 2 ½ years Jay'v'une's mother, father and maternal relatives repeatedly shifted custody amongst themselves.  In May 2014, Jay'v'une's maternal grandfather brought him to a DCFS office stating that he could no longer care for Jay'v'une. As required by law, DCFS contacted his biological father, Vernell Day, to advise him of the situation involving his son. At that time, Day took custody of Jay'v'une directly from the grandfather. Following the voluntary transfer of custody, DCFS provided intensive family services as a support to the family, including weekly home visits, family counseling, child speech assessment and therapy, transportation and assistance with school enrollment. These findings are preliminary and DCFS will continue working with law enforcement on this investigation."

Earlier Friday, the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner released preliminary autopsy findings on the little boy who died Wednesday night after being taken to the hospital Monday.

The autopsy revealed the manner of death was homicide and the cause of death is blunt force injuries to the head, face, neck, chest, abdomen, arms, and legs. The autopsy showed bruising and bleeding of the optic nerve and related tissues and separation of the neck vertebrae.

Dr. William "Beau" Clark, the East Baton Rouge Parish coroner, says the bruising his body was in various stages of healing. "Some of the injuries are older and some are more recent," said Clark.

An ambulance took the little boy to the hospital Monday with multiple injuries from what is believed to have been a savage beating.

"The little boy had multiple brain bleeds and bruising, which consisted of various stages of healing, along with contusions to the head with signs of malnutrition," Cpl. Don Coppola Jr. with the Baton Rouge Police Department said Thursday.

Bergin's father, Varnell Day Jr., 36, of Baton Rouge, was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on Thursday morning on a charge of first-degree murder. He was originally arrested Tuesday and charged with attempted first-degree murder, but the charges were upgraded and he was re-arrested after the boy succumbed to his injuries.

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