Updated: Mar 15
July 27, 2016 - March 18, 2019
Ja’hir had been left home with the mother’s boyfriend at the 6000 block of South Prairie Avenue in the Washington Park neighborhood, a town in Chicago. She went to pick up her five year old son from school. When she returned she allegedly found two year old Ja’hir unresponsive with his little body was covered in bruises on his face, chest, stomach, arms and legs with two cuts on his face.
His mom allegedly grabbed him and began banging on the neighbors doors. One of them answered the door. 911 was contacted and they began CPR. Ja’hir was rushed to the hospital, where he died just one hour later.
The autopsy reported several injuries caused by physical abuse and reported the cause of death as a homicide. Ja’hir’s ribs were fractured, wrists and facial contusions. He had numerous lacerations in the liver and a contusion to his lung. The bruises were in different stages of healing.
That weekend, neighbors heard loud noises coming from the residence and called the police. Twice.
WGN 9 NEWS spoke to the neighbor.
“I heard hollering, screaming, crying, then I didn’t hear anything,” the neighbor said. “A little while later, I heard someone coming down the hallway screaming ‘Help! He’s not breathing, he’s not breathing.’ The neighbor tried to give him CPR and called the ambulance, but I guess he didn’t make it. He looked horrible. He was blue faced. It was ridiculous.”
Ja’hir’s mother Brittany Hyc, 28, has been charged with child endangerment because she left Ja’hir with her boyfriend even after seeing bruises on him days before his death. Hyc’s next court date is April 7, 2020 at the Criminal Courts Building in Chicago and is being held on a $200,000 bond. According to the court papers, the internet on her iPad had searches for “how to hide bruises’.
THE HERALD & REVIEW reported.
Hyc, 28, was charged with child endangerment because she left Ja'hir with Waters -- even though she had noticed bruises and burns on Ja'hir for a week or two -- "because she had to go to work," prosecutors said.
There had been suspicions about the couple's treatment of the children for more than a year, according to prosecutors.
A year ago, a neighbor saw Ja'hir limping after a loud fight in his home. Last August, a doctor reported a bite on his stomach and other bruising that the mother blamed on day care. In October a DCFS worker was assigned to the family after the agency got a hotline complaint about possible abuse in the home. Earlier this month, Ja'hir's grandparents visited the boys and noticed bruises on the boy's face and arms, prosecutors said.
DCFS has been involved in the family since 2010 for Hyc’s older children also. The 2017 case alleged that Ja’hir suffered cuts and bruises by the mother’s boyfriend. The family had seen signs of abuse for months, however, the caseworkers would show up and conclude that the kids were fine.
It has been reported that Hyc’s was in and out of domestic abuse relationships and the man that killed this boy was no different. As most can imagine, violent relationships between adults most often follow down with the children.
A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the family against OMNI Youth Services an organization contracted by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to provide social services. This lawsuit claims that a caseworker allegedly filed a false report to DCFS in regard to a visit made two days prior to his death. The caseworker went to the house but never saw Ja’hir. That’s not, however what they reported. They reported that he was fine. The caseworker went as far as suggesting what clothes she saw him wearing.
That employee reportedly did not get fired, but worked in a department in which they no longer had direct contact with children.
The mother's boyfriend, Dejon Waters, 21, has been charged with Ja’hir’s murder. He admitted he got angry and beat him with his hands and a rolled-up shirt. He waits for trial at the Criminal Courts Building in Chicago and is being held on no bond.
Pretrial - August 10, 2021
Ja’Hir Ishaun Gibbons was born on July 27, 2017 in Waukegan, IL. to Robert Gibbons and Brittany Hyc. Tuga is the nickname affectionately given to Ja’Hir by big brother Josiah. Tuga was a very affectionate child with love radiating from his soul. He absolutely loved his family. If you close your eyes, you can feel the warmth of Tuga’s love.
Ja’Hir was an active and playful toddler. His favorite superhero and toy was The Hulk. Ja;Hir loved music and food. He was a 2 year old who loved to giggle and play. If you close your eyes, you can hear the melody of his laughter.
Tuga was a bright and intelligent child. He had an illuminating smile that was contagious. If you close your eyes, you can feel the emission of energy form Tug’s smile. Ja’Hir will be sadly missed by the people who cherished his love and laughter and smile.
FINAL RESTING PLACE
Mt. Olivet Memorial Park
1436 Kenosha Rd
Zion, IL 60099