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Report from DCF on Tony Bunn shows allegations of neglect, abuse

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) - The Department for Children and Families has responded to KSN's request for information regarding how the agency responded to allegations of neglect and abuse involving Anthony Bunn, known as Tony.

Bunn died May 6 after being critically injured while at the home he shared with his mother and her boyfriend. Both are now charged in Tony's death.

It is the first time the agency has responded to KSN with such a summary, after Governor Jeff Colyer signed a law this week that allows specific information to be released to the public in a child death case.

The law goes into effect July 1, 2018, according to the state legislature's website. 

The document, provided to KSN, provides a summary of the allegations involving Anthony Bunn, listed in the document as AB, and how the agency responded. 

It says on December 23, 2016, DCF assigned a report alleging physical neglect to Bunn by Elizabeth Woolheater, his mother. The report said Bunn suffered from a rash, was underweight and dehydrated. It also says that he experienced flea bites and the home was treated for fleas. Woolheater also reported that Bunn had a cold and was taking him to a doctor's appointment. The summary says Bunn appeared happy and healthy. DCF considered the allegations unsubstantiated.  

Then on October 19, 2017, there was a report of physical abuse against Bunn, allegedly by Elizabeth Woolheater and Lucas Diel.

The summary says the couple lived together at the time and Bunn had bruising on the head and back. In this case, DCF conducted a joint investigation with law enforcement. Bunn went to live with grandparents while the investigation continued.

Woolheater and Diel explained the injuries by saying they were normal of a two-year-old child -- from trips and falls. It says a medical exam was done and did not reveal internal injuries or a finding of abuse. The DCF summary reports that law enforcement concluded there was insufficient evidence to pursue an arrest.

KSN has previously reported that the Wichita Police Department presented the case to the Sedgwick County District Attorney to consider possible charges, but the DA's office says there wasn't enough evidence to file charges in the case. Bunn was allowed to return to the home with Woolheater and Diel. DCF says they discussed family preservation services with the family but did not make a referral to the family. DCF lists this case as still open. 

There were two more reports to DCF, both on May 4, 2018. That's the date that Bunn was rushed to the hospital from the home where he lived in with his mother and Diel. He would die two days later.

The report says there was physical abuse by an unknown perpetrator. It says no findings have been made. It appears an additional report was made on the same day, but the allegations were already being investigated. 

Elizabeth Woolheater and Lucas Diel remain in the Sedgwick County Jail, charged with first-degree murder in the death of Tony

KSN has requested additional documents and details regarding the case of Anthony Bunn, including documents, records, emails and other details related to the investigation of cases involving Bunn. That request is still pending. 


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