Former child death investigator worries for other children

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The former state worker who is suing the agency overseeing a child death investigation spoke Thursday with KXAN.

Joe Carrizal says he blew the whistle to help ensure the lives of children like Colton Turner are protected.

Carrizal contends in the suit he was fired last July even after he’d been rapidly promoted through the organization and put on important investigative units – including a special task force looking into 160 CPS child death cases.

“You need to keep in mind there’s at least one child attached to each of those cases,” the former Health and Human Services Commission investigator said. “I mean some of those families have four or five children. I mean you’re not just talking about one kid.”

Carrizal’s suit contends he and other investigators were ill-equipped and undertrained when they were told to review dozens of CPS cases where a child had died.

“And not only that, that investigator had 40-60 cases on their caseload,” Carrizal added. “These are my concerns. And they’re concerns that are leaving children across the state unprotected. And not only that, it’s putting this agency at risk.”

Carrizal acknowledges the state’s Health and Human Services Commission had since made its investigations into CPS caseworkers more thorough, but he’s calling for more to be done. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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