NBC12 INVESTIGATION: Marty's family has history with Dept. of Social Services

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - New information we've uncovered has some believing Marty Cobb and his sister might be the latest victims of the scandal-plagued Department of Social Services, which we've been telling you about for more than a year. Sources tell NBC12 the family was known to Child Protective Services before the eight-year-old was beaten to death and his sister was raped.

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Late Wednesday, the state medical examiner's office officially confirmed what sources have been telling us all along—Marty Cobb died of "blunt force trauma to the head." Sources also say in just the last eight months alone, there have been three Child Protective Services complaints dealing with Marty Cobb's family.

The new information reveals Marty and his sister slipped through the cracks of what many call a broken social services system. The death of Cobb, who the family says was killed while trying to save his sister from a sexual assault, could have been prevented, according to sources. We've uncovered CPS complaints including allegations of physical abuse, neglect and lack of supervision.

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The problems we've been telling you about that have plagued DSS for more than a year, played out right inside Marty's home. According to insiders, the worker assigned to the case has been out on medical leave and supervisors never re-assigned anyone else to cover these children.

We've also learned the children's mother, Sharain Spruill, whose heart wrenching interview we brought you the day after Marty died, has a criminal record.

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Wednesday Richmond Police confirm a shooting we told you about last August on the 200 block of Brandon Road actually happened at Marty's home. A man accidentally shot himself. Sources say at the time several adults were drinking inside the home.

That's not the only time police have responded to the home. We've uncovered a long list of the times officers have been there. Some of the calls include vice and sex offenses, along with a noise complaint and what's listed as "domestic trouble."

Now, even with all of this contact with the system, it took her rape and the death of her brother for authorities to keep the 12-year-old sister out of that home. Sources confirm she is not under Spruill's care right now.

We went to Spruill's home Wednesday to ask her about the CPS complaints. A man at the house said she did not want to talk. We also checked in with the acting head of the department about the allegations. We are still waiting to hear back from him.

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A hearing is scheduled for authorities to review the sister's case Thursday in the juvenile and domestic relations court.

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