Our Pledge To You


Cook County judge again blasts DCFS investigation into death of 3-year-old

Apartment fire in 1400 block of East 67th Place

Maqkwone Jones died in a fire July 8 in the 1400 block of East 67th Place. | Chicago Fire Media Affairs

For the second day in a row, a Cook County judge berated the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services in a court hearing for not being able to answer basic questions regarding the death of a 3-year-old placed in foster care.

Maqkwone Jones was killed in an apartment fire in Grand Crossing on Sunday after being left alone by his foster mother with her friend who wasn’t aware the boy was there. Currently, the foster mother — who is the boy’s aunt — is under investigation by DCFS for neglect over the incident.

DCFS released the name of the friend who was sleeping in the apartment, but Cook County Judge Patrick Murphy, the former county public guardian, had other questions it couldn’t answer.

“Who was this person? Why were they in the home? Where was the foster parent at the time? Where were the children at that time?” he asked. “This is the crux of what I had asked for and (the report) doesn’t say it.”

A DCFS official at the hearing defended the agency’s investigation.

Also at the hearing, Murphy, the boy’s birth mother, and attorneys reached an agreement so the siblings of the dead child — who are not all placed in the same foster home — could be brought together and grieve. The other sibilings are a baby, a 2-year-old, and two boys, 8 and 9, who are in different psychiatric wards. Both boys were not told of their brother’s dead until Thursday.