Khisha Humphrey, the biological mother of Omarion Humphrey, has confirmed that the search for her son is over and that her son was found, like a staggering number of autistic children, drowned in a lake not far from where he went missing. Unlike many of these autism-related tragedies though, nine-year-old Omarion Humphrey had fled to the body of water from the care of his foster parent. On the Fourth of July, Omarion had been at the Lake Callis Recreation Complex with his foster family, playing in a fenced-in splash pad which was located only about 50 feet away from the picnic table where his foster parents were sitting. Omarion was almost non-verbal.
Omarion reportedly had 10 siblings. Khisha and her husband lost custody of all of their children over being unable to provide them with adequate housing. Jamell Humphrey, Omarion’s father, expressed his gratitude to those who helped search for his son, but said that he has “no words right now,” when a reporter asked him to comment about his son’s tragedy, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The incredibly tragic story of Omarion’s life cut short is even more unbearable, because Omarion’s foster mother was warned that same day to keep a better eye on the child, because he had special care needs due to his autism. The child vanished from the Davison Township park on the Fourth of July. A caseworker testified in Oakland County Probate Court on July 7 that the foster mother was given the warning earlier on the same day he went missing. Geneva Harvey, a representative of Alternatives for Children and Families, the agency that placed Omarion, said she only learned of the warning issued to the foster mother after the boy had already disappeared, according to NBC.
Lake Callis Recreation Area had been closed and evacuated in order to search for the boy. The large scale search that involved around 500 people ended on July 8. Not long after reopening Friday, Omarion Humphrey’s body was discovered along the shore’s edge in knee-deep water.
Harvey even added to her testimony about the foster home that there had also been another complaint lodged in the past, with the agency accusing the foster home of improper supervision of a different child, according to MLIVE. At that emergency hearing, after Omarion went missing, but before his body was discovered in the lake, his mother said she was shocked by what she considered a lack of accountability in the foster system.
“If I would have did that, I would be in jail,” Omarion’s mother stated of the lack of required supervision of her son before his body was discovered in the lake. Khisha and her husband reportedly had been fighting to regain custody of her children ranging in age from 3 months to 17 years old.
While in his mother and father’s custody, Omarion was living “in squalor” with only his siblings in a small apartment just five months ago, according to court records. Meanwhile, his parents lived in a separate, tidy apartment. The children were removed by Child Protective Services, according to Oakland County Probate Court records. Omarion, while in his parents’ custody, had been sleeping on the floor without adult supervision. His clothes did not fit and were said to be unclean.
“Omarion wears adult clothes held up by a belt and wears shoes with no soles. Omarion’s teacher provides Omarion clothing that he changes into before class starts in the morning. Omarion is frequently bullied by his peers due to poor hygiene and for body odor. In the past, school personnel have had to give Omarion sponge baths due to his overwhelming body odor and hygiene.”
While in his parents’ care, Omarion didn’t have a bed, the stairs were cluttered with dirty diapers, hangars, empty food containers and dirty dishes. A window in the apartment was broken and covered with plastic. The bathrooms were infested with flies and gnats. The court records paint a picture showing the conditions Omarion and his siblings lived in before foster care.
“Mr. and Mrs. Humphrey have an extensive CPS history for physical and medical neglect, improper supervision and threatened harm. Mr. and Mrs. Humphrey abandon their children in deplorable conditions and rent a separate apartment where they stay.”
Documents did not explain exactly how far away the children’s apartment was from the adults’ apartment, just that the children had no supervision in their apartment. After losing their children, the Humphreys were described as “extremely cooperative with the department” as recently as May. The couple attended every scheduled appointment, trying to get their children back. On May 5, the parents’ new residence was finished and approved for the children to return home, according to MLIVE. Sadly, Omarion Humphrey, better known as “Mars,” will never live in the home his parents made for their family while he and his siblings were in foster care.