Parents of slain Irving child were investigated by CPS in 2009, official says

IRVING -- Officials with Child Protective Services had investigated the parents of a 5-year-old boy who was strangled on Monday, but the boy and his younger sister were found to be in good health, a CPS official said Tuesday.

CPS officials received a referral on the family in May 2009 for neglectful supervision, and the parents admitted to leaving the boy home asleep while they took their toddler daughter to an emergency room for respiratory problems.

According to CPS reports, the parents told officials that they understood the dangers of leaving a child so young home alone and they were adamant that it would not happen again.

"They said they weren't thinking clearly because of their concern for their daughter," Marissa Gonzales, a CPS spokeswoman, said Tuesday. "The children were in good condition and exhibited no signs of abuse or neglect."

None of the people whom CPS contacted about the incident had concerns about the children's care, according to CPS reports.

The mother of the 5-year-old boy was in jail Tuesday, accused in the strangulation of her 5-year-old son and choking her 2-year-old daughter, police said.

Saiqa Akhter called 911 about 5 p.m,. Monday to report that she had hurt her two children at the family's Irving apartment, police said.

Police did not release any details about a motive.

Akhter, 30, was taken into custody after police went to the Wind Tree Apartments in the 3300 block of Esters Road and found two children who had apparently been choked, police said.

Officers immediately began trying to resuscitate both children until paramedics arrived, according to a news release from Irving police.

The children's father was not home at the time, but he was contacted shortly after police arrived, Irving police spokesman David Tull said Tuesday.

Zain Akhter was pronounced dead at Baylor Medical Center at Irving. His sister, Faryaal Akhter, 2, was in critical condition at Children's Medical Center of Dallas.

Saiqa Akhter was in the Irving City Jail Tuesday on suspicion of capital murder of a child under the age of 6.

Neighbor Jean Hyams, who lives across a narrow parking lot from the family's apartment, said paramedics carried the children away in their arms and officers escorted their mother out in handcuffs and put her in a patrol car.

Hyams said she thought that it was strange that she had never seen the children or their mother outside. She said she would have noticed because she "keeps an eye out on things around here," she said, adding that the family had lived there about a month.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763, Terry Evans, 817-390-7620

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