FORT WORTH -- The parents of an 18-month-old boy who was mauled by his grandparents' dogs this week routinely sleep through the day while the toddler goes unsupervised, according to an affidavit filed Wednesday by a Child Protective Services investigator.
Chance Wayne Walker, 25, and Patricia Walker, 23, have a history of methamphetamine use and knew that the dogs were aggressive but did not take adequate safety measures, according to the affidavit.
The state agency was granted temporary custody of Chance Walker Jr., who remains in Cook Children's Medical Center. He was bitten numerous times and will likely lose his left ear, a physician told the CPS investigator.
His father's Facebook page indicates that the toddler needed about 400 stitches.
"When he's released, he'll go to a foster home, unless a suitable relative can be found," CPS spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales said in an e-mail. She said later that the toddler was expected to be released today.
The parents and grandparents could not be reached to comment Wednesday.
According to the investigator's report, Chance Walker is unemployed, and Patricia Walker has a job. The couple and their child usually live with Patricia Walker's mother, but about two weeks ago, an 18-year-old who also lives there developed scabies, and a doctor told them that the toddler should not stay there.
They moved into the elder Walkers' house in the 7800 block of Eastland Avenue in unincorporated Tarrant County near Lakeside. Other relatives live next door.
Questions of drug use
At the hospital Monday evening, Patricia Walker told a CPS investigator that she and her husband were asleep that afternoon when she was awakened by "aggressive barking," went to the back door and saw four dogs on top of her son. She pulled the dogs off her son.
She said that her son must have climbed out of the playpen where she left him, climbed over a gate blocking access to the back door and then crawled through a pet door to go outside, which he had done in the past, the affidavit stated.
The father gave essentially the same account to the CPS investigator but ended the conversation, saying he and his wife had not eaten all day.
Both were questioned about drug use. Patricia Walker said she hadn't used meth since March, but a drug test administered Monday evening showed the presence of methamphetamine and amphetamines, according to the affidavit. Her husband, who stated he had smoked meth off and on since he was 12, refused to submit to a drug test.
A nurse told the CPS investigator that the couple left for lunch Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and that no one stayed with the child. The nurse also noted that they were not changing his diapers while in the room.
In 2010, CPS investigated Chance and Patricia Walker starting in September. Both tested positive for methamphetamine and there was reason to believe that the parents and his mother, Lena Walker, 45, physically abused the infant. They voluntarily placed Chance Jr. with Patricia Walker's mother and completed outpatient drug treatment. However, they twice tested positive for meth use later, the affidavit states.
"CPS worked with the parents for several months to ensure that the domestic violence and substance abuse allegations were addressed," Gonzales said.
That case was closed in June 2011, Gonzales said.
On Monday afternoon, seven dogs were in the Walkers' yard. Four were determined to have attacked the child and were euthanized Tuesday.
According to the affidavit, a Tarrant County sheriff's deputy told the CPS official that the department had had several reports of dangerous dogs at the home, including a complaint that a neighbor child was bitten in September 2010. The dog was quarantined for the required time and returned.
"He states that the Walkers felt it was the child's fault because they should know not to run from dogs," the affidavit states.
An older relative who lives next door to the Walkers showed the investigator a "large pen area with an approximate 8 foot fence surrounding it and advised this is Chance's area where he is able to play in the mud." In her findings, the investigator noted that the penned area indicates that the family realizes Chance needed a place to play that the dogs could not get to.
A Tarrant County sheriff's deputy noted that when Lena Walker arrived home and was told that her grandson had been mauled, her first response was to ask why her dogs were being taken away, the affidavit stated.
While officers were at the house, a neighbor confronted Lena Walker about the dogs, and Walker grabbed her by the throat.
She spent the night in the Tarrant County Jail and was released Tuesday on bail. She faces a charge of assault with bodily injury, an official has said.
Domingo Ramirez Jr.,