Woman believes CPS could have prevented death of 3-year-old Detroit boy found in freezer

Azuradee France served 2 years probation, children were returned to her

A Detroit mother who has been charged with killing her 3-year-old son had a prior child abuse conviction. That child’s grandmother is speaking out and wants to know why more wasn’t done to protect the children. Azuradee France has been charged with murder, child abuse and torture after police found her 3-year-old son’s body in a freezer while conducting a wellness check on June 24.

DETROIT – A Detroit mother who has been charged with killing her 3-year-old son had a prior child abuse conviction.

A woman close to the situation is speaking out and wants to know why more wasn’t done to protect the children.

Azuradee France has been charged with murder, child abuse and torture after police found her 3-year-old son’s body in a freezer while conducting a wellness check on June 24.

Grandmother Patricia Davis has said her grandchild was abused by France when he visited her home. She said authorities made mistakes while handling their case.

Police and family confirm the child was abused by France in 2018 when he was just 2 years old. Davis said when she picked her grandson up from France’s home, he had been abused and was soaked in urine.

“He was beat up pretty bad. Like, black eyes, wounds on his private area -- and he was hurting,” Davis said. “So I had picked him up to put him in her mom’s -- took the washing. But when I went to pick him up, he started screaming and crying, you know, like you gasping for air.”

He was brought to a hospital. Sources tell Local 4 that CPS and Detroit police were involved. The case did go to court.

“I remember the lawyers stating to us that she was going to lose her children and that she will be getting locked up for her crimes,” Davis said.

Azuradee France (Detroit Police Department)

France was charged with third-degree child abuse, which was later reduced to fourth-degree child abuse. She served two years of probation and her children were returned to her.

“I just feel like if they would have followed through with what they said they were going to do. I feel, my personal opinion, that Chase would be alive today,” Davis said. “I blame them because they had the upper hand -- meaning protective services because the judge is going to react off the notes.”

A note from Karen Drew on CPS transparency

It appears CPS is using the message that they’re “protecting the kids” so that it doesn’t have to release information or specifics about cases.

CPS could increase transparency, share information about how many visits are done with children, and be more open about the follow-up process to hold their own agents accountable. But that doesn’t seem to be happening.

The number of CPS complaints that come in continues to grow, and some of the cases are turning deadly.

Local 4 Investigator Karen Drew sits down with Patricia Davis. (WDIV)

“The Child Abuse Third Degree charge was dismissed in return for a plea to Child Abuse 4th Degree. The offer was approved by a supervisor on January 3, 2022, with two years probation, completion of parenting classes, mental health assessment and 40 hours of community service. ( See other provisions listed in the register of actions below. )

Ms. Frances had no prior criminal history and no CPS history prior to this 2018 case. The offer made at the time took this into consideration as well as the facts of the case, the nature and severity of the injuries to the child and that Defendant France would have no further contact with the victim. *

This is consistent with our plea policy when the case is absent serious injuries and the defendant has no prior criminal history.”

Wayne County Prosecutor

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Have a case you’d like us to look into? Reach the Local 4 investigative team at 313-962-9348, or email Karen Drew at kdrew@wdiv.com.


About the Authors:

Karen Drew is the anchor of Local 4 News First at 4, weekdays at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. She is also an award-winning investigative reporter and part of the Local 4 Defenders team.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.