What we’ve learned about CPS visits to Detroit home where toddler was found dead in freezer

Azuradee France was charged with 3rd-degree child abuse, which was later reduced to child abuse to the 4th degree

CPS had been previously called to a Detroit home where a 3-year-old boy was found dead in a freezer.

DETROIT – New questions tonight following the gruesome discovery of a three-year-old boy found in a freezer on Detroit’s west side.

Family members say Child Protective Services were called, but the kids were allowed to stay in the home.

Those are some horrible accusations, but Local 4 News found out that the incident isn’t the first time the three-year-old’s mother has been charged with child abuse before.

Back in 2018, 31-year-old Azuradee France was charged with 3rd-degree child abuse, which was later reduced to child abuse to the 4th degree. While the circumstances surrounding the charge are unclear, France served two years of probation.

Read: Family reacts after mother charged in case of 3-year-old boy found dead in Detroit freezer

Fast forward to the death of her son, Chase Allen, and relatives like Leslie Cannon say the signs were there all along.

“It seems that there were red flags, and people did point towards those red flags and try to get some help,” said Cannon.

Cannon claims other family members had to contact CPS themselves to intervene, leading to only a short-lived change.

“CPS was called several times, and they were taken, and they were brought back,” Cannon said. “It was just something that they missed. So, it’s very important that you do the proper steps to try to get the children help, and obviously, it looks like the system had failed Chase,” Cannon said.

Many are questioning why Allen was allowed to fall into the system’s cracks, especially given his mother’s history.

“Something went wrong somewhere in her past,” said Community Activist Tamara Liberty Smith. “Psychological evaluation, counseling, nothing can bring the baby back. But this is deeper than sentencing someone to prison,” Smith said.

It’s just more unfortunate news for Smith, who tried her best to help France on many occasions.

“I’ve offered to come to bring her things, and she never would let me come to the house,” Smith said. “She always said, ‘I have to come to you.’”

Smith said her biggest concern is the other kids inside the house with Allen from beginning to end.

“They lived with this,” Smith said. “They saw things that we couldn’t even fathom.”

Family members told Local 4 that the other children that were living inside the home were between the ages of nine and three months old.

About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.