I-TEAM: Possible warning signs predicated 2-year-old's death, former daycare employee says

By  | 

Monday, Oct. 21, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

Lincoln Davitte was just 2 years old when he was killed. (Source: Davitte Family)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) – The story of Lincoln Davitte is tragic. Back in May, Lincoln died just shy of his 2nd birthday.

Lincoln’s mother’s boyfriend, Charles Sconyers, is charged with his murder. Sconyers is an ex-Augusta firefighter and is out on bond until his trial.

Our I-Team has spent the last five months digging allegations of abuse before the toddler's death.

We found possible warning signs leading up to Lincoln's death.

Black eyes, bruises, and a hand print on the back of his little body, Lincoln's daycare teachers say they shared their concerns about Lincoln's safety with the daycare director. They say nothing was done, so they called the Department of Family and Children Services.

But DFCS, too, either missed or ignored possible warning signs of abuse.

“He was the sweetest little thing on the planet. The light in his eyes, even with everything that was going on with him, the light in his eyes was amazing,” Jessica Oster, Lincoln’s teacher at the 2-year-old class at A Child’s World, said.

Oster thinks a lot about Lincoln.

“Every day,” Oster said. “It haunts me every day because I wish I could have done something more.”

Oster left her job in June a month after Lincoln died. Still, she noticed something with Lincoln from her first day.

“The first day I got there, I walked in and he had two black eyes and a busted mouth,” Oster said.

That was in March. She says there were other bruises, too.

"Pinch marks on his cheek, pinch marks on his thighs; he had a hand print on his back. He had whelp rashes down his back like blood blisters -- rashes all over him at all times,” Oster said.

She and other daycare workers say they documented the bruises in a notebook. She also snapped a picture of Lincoln's ear even though the daycare director did not allow them to take pictures of students.

Why was nothing done?

“I don’t know,” Oster said. “I went to my director. I talked to my director.”

The Martinez daycare has a history of violations with the state since 2014. Just last year, state inspectors found eight violations there from lack of staff training to not doing background checks. That same year, the state revoked the daycare's license.

Their license was reinstated after they paid a fine.

“Maybe she was afraid because of the situation that happened with her past,” Oster said.

“I don’t think the director ever called anybody. I don’t even think she made any reports.”

But she and another daycare worker did make a call. We got a copy of Lincoln's case file with DFCS.

According to the report, the caller stated seeing two black eyes on the toddler. Then, two weeks later, there was another black eye. The caller also said she told her director. The director said she didn't report the bruises to DFCS.

We left messages with the daycare director and the owner of A Child's World. Nobody returned our calls.

Six weeks following the report, Lincoln was murdered. Investigators say Sconyers "caused significant injury to the child's head and brain."

Who failed Lincoln?

“I think they all did,” Oster said.

Had someone looked a little deeper, or asked a few more questions, maybe Lincoln might still be stealing hearts with his smile.

“Nobody said, ‘Hey, maybe this isn’t the best situation for him,’” Oster said.

DFCS interviewed Sconyers and Chelsea Finch a second time after the hospital called them. We'll show you what they told DFCS happened to Lincoln tomorrow.

Copyright 2019 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.