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State urged to investigate fatal beating of Abdi

State Sen. Patrick Gallivan, R-Elma, on Friday urged the state Office of Child Family Services to conduct a full investigation into the events surrounding the beating death of 10-year-old Abdifatah Mohamud earlier this month.

The boy's stepfather is accused of beating the International Preparatory School fifth-grader to death in the basement of the family's Guilford Street home.

Gallivan, who is chairman of the Senate's Social Services Committee, said Gladys Carrion, commissioner of the state Office of Child and Family Services, should use the full authority of her office to pursue an investigation into where protocols of CPS may have failed Abdifatah.

"There is a pattern of abuse and dysfunction that this young boy was subjected to that can be traced back to at least 2009, including numerous incidents where local police were called to the home to investigate claims of domestic abuse," Gallivan said.

Confidentiality laws shield many Child Protective Services records from public or governmental review, making it difficult to determine exactly where the system failed and what can be done to prevent a future incident of this nature from occurring, Gallivan said.

"A full review will provide insight into why this happened, if and how it could have been prevented, if an appropriate investigation took place, and which, if any, reforms can be made to ensure that it never happens again," the senator added.

According to some who knew Abdifatah, there were warning signs that the child may have been the victim of repeated physical assaults by his stepfather, Ali Mohamed Mohamud, who has been charged with Abdifatah's brutal murder on April 17.

According to police, Mohamud, 40, beat the boy about 70 times with an 18-inch hardwood baker's rolling pin, before throwing a blanket over him and fleeing to The Buffalo News, where Mohamud worked as a security guard, and where he was arrested.

Gallivan on Friday also vowed to conduct a joint hearing of both the Senate Social Services Committee and the Senate Children and Families Committee once an investigation by the Office of Child and Family Services is completed.