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Toddler death investigation causes agency head to resign

John Benton (LinkedIn photo)

CARTHAGE, N.C. (AP) -- The director of a county social services department in North Carolina has resigned following an internal investigation into the death of a toddler who was under the agency's supervision when he drowned in a pond.

The Fayetteville Observer reports the director of the Moore County Department of Social Services resigned Thursday following the investigation into the death of 23-month-old Rylan Ott, who wandered away from home in April and drowned.

John Benton's resignation is effective immediately.

Rylan's mother, Samantha Nacole Bryant of Carthage, is awaiting trial on charges that include felony child abuse and involuntary manslaughter.

The internal investigation found that DSS generally followed laws and policies but "significant failures and omissions" occurred at critical decision points. It found that caseload size and staff vacancies contributed to the problems.

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Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com

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