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Family wants law to protect children

August 21, 2018

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A push for change two weeks after a baby boy was found dead behind a Schenectady apartment.

Relatives and family friends say little Rayen Puleski might still be alive today had the law been different. They’ve set up a change.org petition to pass a law taking children away from parents who use drugs. Rayen’s Great Aunt Lisa Dutcher is one of the forces behind it. “We want as many signatures as possible to pass a law that no parent shall have custody of their child or children if they are using drugs.” Sources close to the investigation say Rayen’s short life began in this Saratoga County motel. Four months later, police say his body was found behind the Schenectady apartment building where he lived with his mother Heaven Puleski. Heaven is facing charges related to the body’s discovery and alleged drug use while responsible for the infant’s care. The cause of death has not yet been released. No one had seen Rayen for a month before his body was found. Dutcher places much of the blame on Child Protective Services (CPS) for accepting the mother’s explanation that the baby was with other family members. “And to wait so long for a sense of urgency.”

Will a new law make a difference for other children? “There is already quite a bit of protection out there,” Barb King, an attorney and family law expert, said. King says these protections are written into the law already. “Under family court Article 10 under the Family Court Act, peace officers, police officers, CPS Agents are authorized to remove children from dangerous situations.”

So what happened with baby Rayen? NEWS10 ABC called CPS, who referred us to County Spokesperson Joe McQueen, released the following statement:

“The Department of Social Services will not be releasing any additional details surrounding the investigation of Heaven Puleski because it has reason to believe that any such release at this time would impede the criminal investigation and case made by the Schenectady Police Department and the Schenectady County Distrct Attorney’s Office.”

Heaven, who remains in custody, had a scheduled appearance in Schenectady City Court on Monday. Her aunt Lisa said she wanted to be there.

Heaven’s preliminary hearing has been adjourned until next Wednesday.

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