Civil Suit Filed By Parents of 2-Year-Old Killed By Foster Mom
By Kristin Forbis, Jul 31, 2020
Lisa Jo Vanderlinden pleaded Guilty in the killing of her 2 year-old foster child and received a sentence this week of 1 year in jail, probation, and a $10,000 dollar fine. On July 27th, the natural parents of the 2 year-old boy, Shelby and David Call, filed a civil suit against the Utah Department of Human Services, Utah Division of Child and Family Services, State of Utah, and Lisa Jo and Cody Vanderlinden. The suit claims that even before fostering the 2-year-old, Vanderlinden had three occasions of parents accusing her of abusing foster children. The suit also states that Shelby Call had concerns when exercising her visitation rights. It states she “observed major bruising to Lucas’s head, abdomen, and pelvis, scrapes and cuts on his head, and a broken arm in a location uncommon to normal broken arms in children. She also noticed that Lucas would not go near Lisa Vanderlinden, acted afraid of her, and had an overall appearance of deteriorating health.” None of her initial reports were followed up on, even when the initial DCFS foster case worker shared similar concerns. On her last occasion of reporting her concerns, the Vernal office of DCFS allegedly threatened to take away her visitation rights if she continued reporting concerns, at which time she started reporting to the DCFS state office. The claim states, “Finally, DCSF purportedly conducted an investigation into the abuse of Lucas Call. Unfortunately, DCSF found the claims of child abuse leveled against Lisa Jo Vanderlinden to be unsubstantiated in spite of Lucas’s physical signs of abuse and many inexplicable trips to the doctor as well as being on notice of numerous prior complaints of child abuse made against Lisa Jo Vanderlinden by other parents.” Along with the complaint, the plaintiffs are also demanding a jury trial.