State child welfare officials got a complaint about child neglect three months before 2-year-old James Vessell Jr. died.

It wasn’t the first one they had gotten about his mother, who previously had four of her six children removed from her custody and had been reported to the state repeatedly for more than a decade. From 2001 to October 2016, the agency received two dozen calls from people who had concerns about the safety of children in her home.

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