Incarcerated dad seeks answers after his 9-year-old son mysteriously dies in state custody

Richard Blodgett, a single father, was incarcerated for a drug offense when an employee from Arizona’s Division of Child and Family Services arrived to give him tragic news.

His son had become brain-dead, and was on life-sustaining machinery. This took place just a few days after being put under the care of the state.

Blodgett let out a piercing cry, tears streaming down his face. Jakob was his only son, a delightful 9-year-old boy with a penchant for remote control cars and video games.

In late December, a medical examiner declared Jakob’s cause of death as natural, due to complications from his diabetes. Jakob had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, a condition in which his body was unable to produce sufficient insulin to stay alive.

Blodgett expressed his suspicion that the Arizona Department of Child Safety had not met their obligation to safeguard his son. He suspects that they were not keeping track of his blood sugar levels or not guaranteeing that Jakob had the necessary amount of insulin to avoid ketoacidosis.

The father expressed his grief to The Associated Press, saying, “They couldn’t keep him alive for two weeks, two weeks.” He continued to share his heartbreak. “That’s absolutely insane. That was my pride and joy. I’m lost. I’m completely lost. My family is completely lost.”

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is looking into the events leading to Jakob’s passing. Spokesperson Darren DaRonco noted that typically, foster parents need to get educated by a healthcare professional before welcoming a child with any kind of medical issue into their home.