CPS Investigated Man Accused of Killing Son with Hatchet

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Safety was a priority for Mathew Hernandez’s mother who contacted Child Protective Services three weeks before her son was murdered.

She warned the boy’s father, Phillip Hernandez, had a history of violence and got abusive when high.

“Safety is a key priority in child protective services,” said Michelle Callejas, Deputy Director, CPS. “We deal with families everyday who have domestic violence issues, substance abuse issues mental health issues and we have a number of stories of success.”

On Feb. 4, CPS began their investigation.

According to documents released by CPS, the agency conducted a safety assessment that includes a number of questions to determine if the child is in immediate danger.

“The information she had at the time indicated it was safe to leave Mathew in the home,” said Callejas.

Part of the investigation included a drug exam which Hernandez tested positive for Methamphetamines and Marijuana, but he agreed to get help.

CPS came up with the idea to allow Mathew and his brother to see their father only when their 72-year-old grandmother was present.

“The grandmother did not indicate any violent behavior toward the children. We had no information from other sources indicating the father had been violent toward the children,” said Callejas.

Documents show Hernandez failed to appear for a Feb. 26 drug test.

That same day, investigators say he went into his backyard, grabbed a hatchet and beat his 9-year-old son to death.

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  • parent10

    So many parents who are drug addicts, just learned that you can live in Sacramento, test positive for meth and marijuana and you get to keep your kids…oh and the best part is that as long as there is a 72 yr old in the home..you're good to go!! I'm sure many children will be safe now that Sacramento CPS is well on there side…YEA RIGHT!! What the heck is wrong with this woman..the man tested positive and you were ok with this..how can you justify any of this garbage…!!!!!!! Do your homework lady, meth makes the users violent!! Lets hope you can keep your job because you're dong such an awesome job…NOT!!!

  • monkette31

    I hope the mother and surviving son sue the crap out of Sacramento County. Sacramento DCFS is responsible for killing this boy. The whole system should be shut down, but because it employs so many people, there will be more deaths of children. Judges, therapists, SS workers are all getting paid big time to just keep this system afloat.

  • jbentley8383

    "CPS came up with the idea to allow Mathew and his brother to see their father only when their 72-year-old grandmother was present."

    THAT'S THE PROBLEM right there!
    CPS ALLOWED…which he shouldn't have been ALLOWED any time with the kids no matter who else is with the kids…

    CPS just lets things "slide" because they wanna look "humane" and not so Cold-Hearted.

    Well to KEEP KIDS SAFE you have to be cold-hearted to someone to save the most innocent(Kids).

    It's a Shame that this kind of thing is gonna happen AGAIN & AGAIN & AGAIN…all so CPS don't seem so evil when it comes to Kids and their abusive Parent(s).