MONTPELIER (AP) - The director of the Vermont State Police says a shortcoming in the case of Dezirae Sheldon, a Poultney 2-year-old who died in February after suffering severe head trauma, was the failure to identify the actual offender who broke the child's legs before her death.

Her stepfather, Dennis Duby, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

Police who reviewed the Department for Children and Families investigation told a special legislative committee Wednesday that a lack of communication and a push to reunite children in state care with their parents were shortcomings in the case.

The committee is seeking solutions to a child protection crisis in the state, following the death of Dezarie and 15-month-old Peighton Geraw of Winooski in April. His mother has pleaded not guilty to second degree murder.


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