Nathaniel Alan Lewis Burton, 7, February 17, 2021, Oregon, Ogle County, Illinois


Nathaniel Burton, 7, was found at home February 17, 2021 after first responders entered the home and found him not breathing about 2:35 A.M. on the 400 block of south 10th Street and rushed him to the KSB Hospital in Dixon where he died.


His mother, Sarah Safanek, 34 was arrested and charged on five counts of First Degree Murder and Aggravated Battery to a Child after officials revealed that Nathaniel was suffocated, and suffered a ruptured liver. Prosecutors allege 'brutal and heinous behavior'.


Weeks later, Sarah's husband filed on Order of Protection against her.


It was then revealed that DCFS had been involved in the household multiple times. Claims of inadequate supervision and physical signs of abuse and neglect were all finalized as 'unfounded', leaving Nathaniel to fight his own battles while everyone around him, failed him.



Sarah has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial at the Ogle County Jail on a $2 Million Bond.


It has been made clear that Nathaniel's two older half-sisters have also endured abuse and neglect by Sarah, yet all DCFS reports were all closed. DCFS failed yet another child to their death.


Channel 23 WIFR News Brandon Giesey brought forth more information on the DCFS involvement Timeline. It goes as follows:


09/08/2018 A report was made listing Nathaniel, age 4, and his two siblings as child victims. Both mother and stepfather were named alleged perpetrators and investigated for allegation 60-Substantial Risk of Physical Injury/Environment Injurious to Health and Welfare by Neglect, 74-Inadequate Supervision, 11-Cuts Bruises Welts Abrasions and Oral Injuries, and 10-Substantial Risk of Physical Injury/Environment Injurious to Health and Welfare. DCFS attempted to see the children, but no contact was made on this date.


09/11/2018 Investigator went to the home 09/11 and 10/31, observed the three children. There were no signs of abuse or neglect and the children were assessed as safe in the care of their mother for both visits.


11/05/2018 The investigations involving mother and stepfather are closed and determined to be unfounded. The family was referred for community-based services.



02/15/2019 A report was made listing M.P, age 7, (Nathaniel’s sibling) as the child victim. Both mother and stepfather were named alleged perpetrators and investigated for allegation 11-Cuts Bruises Welts Abrasions and Oral Injuries. Investigator observed and spoke to two of the three children at school. M.P was confirmed to have a rounded red rash like area on her chin that was about an inch and half in diameter with uneven edges, and she had prior scratches that the investigator also discussed. Another sibling T.P, age 9, had a two-inch scratch on top of her right hand that she identified the cat as the reason for the scratch. The two children denied that either parent was hurting them and caused the scratches.


02/25/2019 Investigator observed and spoke with Nathaniel. He had no visible signs of abuse or neglect. Investigator also observed the three children again on 04/15, and saw no signs of abuse or neglect.


04/16/2019 The investigation is closed and unfounded.


04/18/2019 A report was made listing all three children as the child victims. The mother was investigated for allegations 60-Substantial Risk of Physical Injury/Environment Injurious to Health and Welfare by Neglect. An investigator visited the children and family home. There are no signs of abuse or neglect for any of the children.


06/12/2019 Investigator observed and spoke with Nathaniel. There are no signs of abuse or neglect. Investigator visited the home and observed and spoke with the children on 06/17.


06/17/2019 The investigation is closed and determined to be unfounded. Referral for communitybased services were provided to the family.


08/05/2020 A report was made listing Nathaniel, age 7, as the child victim. Both parents were investigated for allegations 60-Substantial Risk of Physical Injury/Environment Injurious to Health and Welfare by Neglect, 74a-Inadequate Supervision - Left Alone at Home, Outside or in the Community and 74c-Inadequate Supervision - Left in the Care of an Inadequate Caregiver. A good-faith attempt was made to see the children, but there was no contact made on this date.


08/07/2019 A report was made listing all three children as the child victims. The mother was investigated for allegations 60-Substantial Risk of Physical Injury/Environment Injurious to Health and Welfare by Neglect. An investigator visited the children and family home. There were no visible signs of abuse or neglect for any of the children.


08/11/2020 Investigator observed all three children and there were no visible signs of abuse or neglect. Nathaniel resides with his godparent, M.P. was at the grandmother’s home, but confirmed she lives with her biological father. Investigator visited T.P who was with the mother in their home at the time of the visit, but stated that she lives with her biological father. Investigator also visited the children on 9/25 in their homes. No visible signs of abuse or neglect were observed.


10/02/2020 The investigation was closed and determined to be unfounded. Referral for community based services were provided to the family.


02/17/2021 A report was made listing Nathaniel, age 7, as the deceased child victim. Both parents, mother and father were investigated for allegations 1-Death, 60-Substantial Risk of Physical Injury/Environment Injurious to Health and Welfare by Neglect. The other two children M.P and T.P already reside with their biological father and were not in the home with their biological mother and stepfather. There is currently an ongoing investigation and law enforcement is currently involved and conducting their own investigation.


02/19/2021 Investigator visited with the two surviving siblings of Nathaniel, observing and interviewing them. The two children were aware that Nathaniel is deceased. There were no noted visible signs of abuse or neglect, but T.P did admit that she had witnessed their mother abusive to Nathaniel in the past when she lived with mom.


OBITUARY

Nathaniel Alan Lewis Burton

September 9, 2013 - February 17, 2021


Oregon, Illinois

Nathaniel Alan Lewis Burton, 7, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital in Dixon. Nathaniel was born on September 9, 2013 to Bryan E. Burton and Sarah Safranek in DeKalb, IL.


Nathaniel is survived by his parents, Bryan Burton of Steward and Sarah Safranek of Oregon; two sisters: Tori and Mackenzie Pollock of Creston, IL; grandparents: Rhonda Burton of Steward, IL, Colleen Hackman of Courtland, IL, Troy Safranek of Ottawa, IL and Eddie Burton of Rochelle, IL; great grandmothers: June (Otto) Safranek of Paw Paw, IL and Dorothy Mann of Byron, IL; four aunts: Mellissa (Matt) Anderson of Tuscon, AZ, Kaitlyn (Brandon) West, Abigail Busching both of Ottawa, IL and Emma Busching of Courtland, IL; two great aunts: Sheri (Gary) Chisamore of Rockford, IL and Kim (Eugene) McMahon of Polo, IL and several cousins.



COURT

She is still awaiting trial

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