Upstate mother demands answers after son drowned in foster care

Za'Marion Wilcox
Za'Marion Wilcox

GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – An Upstate mother is demanding answers after her son drowned while in foster care.

Njamena Wilcox says she still remembers getting the devastating phone call that her two-year-old son Za’Marion Wilcox drowned at a community pool in Greenville County, while under the care of foster parents.

“I just kinda lost everything,” she said. “He was just full of life. He was my only little boy.”

zamarion-wilcox-motherWilcox held a press conference alongside Bruce Wilson, founder of the organization ‘Fighting Injustice Together.’ Since her son’s drowning, the Department of Social Services has been investigating what happened.

“All we asked was to be included, for this investigation to be transparent so this mother can know what happened to her baby,” said Wilson. “That didn’t happen.”

7 News learned the DSS investigation concluded this week and revealed Za’Marion’s death was caused by neglect due to lack of oversight by his foster parents.

The foster parents are appealing that decision.

“I was mad because no one called to let me know anything,” said Wilcox. “No one still hasn’t called to let me know what’s going on.”

The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating to see if charges will be filed.

Wilcox now wants her 7 year-old-daughter out of DSS custody, and back with her relatives.

“They’re supposed to protect your kids but then when they get your kids, stuff like this happens like what happened to my son,” she said. “I don’t know what could happen to my daughter so I want her to be with family.”

The Office of Administrative Hearings will now review the DSS decision after the foster parents’ appeal. If that outcome is not reversed the foster parents will be placed on the central registry of abuse and neglect, barring them from working in childcare positions and adopting or fostering again.

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