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JB Pritzker Marc D.

Smith
Governor Acting Director

A fire at a Quincy home in October of 2018 led to the heartbreaking and unacceptable death of two children,
Toby Brewer and Emma Kramer. DCFS has an extensive history with the family dating back to 2009.
Following the deaths of Toby and Emma, the Office of the Inspector General conducted a formal
investigation into all child protection investigations involving the family. DCFS agreed with all 11
recommendations made in the OIG’s findings. The department has already adopted many of the
recommendations and is working to adopt the remaining recommendations as quickly as possible. DCFS
continues to work closely with the new administration on an overhaul of intact family services, following an
independent review completed in May.

NOTE: The information included below reflects the department’s current understanding of records, reports,
and documents available to us at this time.

FAMILY

Toby Brewer age 8 (deceased)


Emma Kramer age 5 (deceased)
Older Brother age 10
Oldest Brother age 12
Marilyn Kramer age 34 Mother
William Brewer age 35 Father

OVERVIEW - PREVIOUS HISTORY

On October 12, 2018, 8-year-old Toby Brewer and 5-year-old Emma Kramer died in a fire at their home in
Quincy, Illinois. Their mother, Marilyn Kramer, and older brother, escaped. The children’s father, William
Brewer and the oldest brother, were not at home at the time of the fire.

The Kramer/Brewer family has an extensive history with the department. Prior to the fire, the family had
been investigated by DCFS on nine occasions. At the time of the fire, DCFS had a pending investigation from
March of 2018 into allegations of abuse and neglect involving Marilyn Kramer and William Brewer.

TIMELINE

3/24/09 DCFS received a report alleging neglect. The report alleges Marilyn Kramer was not
following through on medical testing needed to properly diagnose the older brother. Report
also alleges she was inconsistent in treating older brother’s skin disorder, putting him at risk
for infection. The investigation was indicated and determined that no services were needed.

2/21/13 DCFS received a report alleging neglect against the mother. Emma is hospitalized at the time
of the report. The report alleges Marilyn Kramer did not show up for medical appointments
following a prior hospitalization of Emma. The mother continues to smoke around Emma
and older brother despite his diagnosis of Asthma. The report was unfounded and
expunged.

9/9/13 DCFS received a report alleging neglect and abuse against the mother. Police execute a
search warrant on the home of Marilyn Brewer and she is found asleep on the floor in
possession of meth and arrested. All four children are present at the home and taken into
protective custody. Father is in jail at the time. One allegation of neglect is indicated.
Additional allegations of abuse and neglect are unfounded.

Protective Custody was taken of the children as a result of the investigation and all four
children were placed in foster care. This case remained open for 2 ½ years. During this
period the mother complied with her service plan.

10/12/15 DCFS received a report alleging abuse. Emma is reported to be "scared” of a family member
“because he touches me in a bad spot.” The investigation is unfounded and expunged.

2/29/16 The children were returned. The mother has complied with the service plan and is living in
her own apartment without dad.

4/5/16 DCFS receives a report of allegations of neglect against the mother and father. William
Brewer was arrested following an altercation with Marilyn. Report alleges William and
Marilyn are living together again and children were home during the altercation. The
investigation is unfounded and expunged.

8/25/16 DCFS receives a report of allegations of neglect against the mother and father. Three of the
children are reported missing and are later located playing inside an ambulance about 10
blocks from their home. Toby and his older brothers are alleged to have gotten out of the
back door sometime in the middle of the night. Report notes that a similar incident had
taken place a month prior to the reported incident. The investigation is unfounded and
expunged.

12/8/16 DCFS receives a report of allegations of neglect against the mother. Marilyn is alleged to be
going down ''a slippery slope'' and is “glossy eyed.” The children are reported to have
sporadic attendance at school. The investigation is unfounded and expunged.

2/7/17 DCFS receives a report of allegations of neglect against mother and father involving Emma.
The report alleges that Marilyn looked skinny and her teeth were rotten and William was
looking skinny with sores on his face. Emma is reported to not have been seen in a long
time. The investigation is unfounded and expunged.

11/1/17 DCFS receives multiple reports of allegations of neglect against the mother and father with
all four children listed as the victims. The report alleges the heat and water are turned off at
the house and alleges both parents are using meth while at home and caring for the kids.
Both allegations are unfounded.

3/14/18 DCFS receives a report of allegations of abuse and neglect against the mother and father.
The investigation was still open at the time of the home fire that led to the death of Toby
and Emma. The report alleges that William had struck Marilyn, and the oldest brother was
struck with a metal pole while trying to break up the altercation. The report also alleges the
mother struck the oldest brother with a belt. Allegations include that the heat and water are
turned off at the house and the only heat source are space heaters upstairs. Both parents
are alleged to be using meth. The investigation is completed on 11/9/2018, after the fire
occurs. The father is indicated for abuse and neglect and the mother is indicated for neglect.

10/13/18 DCFS receives a report of multiple child deaths due to a fire in the home of mother and
father. Report stated the home had no power and there were extension cords spliced
together running from a neighbor's home. The room where the children were sleeping had a
space heater and the gas stove was open and being used to heat the rest of the home. The
home was reported to be in poor condition with garbage throughout. The mother and
father are indicated for multiple allegations of neglect involving all four children. The
surviving children are brought into care with DCFS where they remain today.

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