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Report reveals DHHS knew of Maddox Williams before his death

A report released the same day as Maddox's mother was sentenced for his murder shows Maddox was known to the department.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maddox Williams was three years old at the time of his death, and Maine's Department of Health and Human Services had been aware of the child's circumstances since his birth in January 2018. 

According to a DHHS report, Maddox's mother, Jessica Trefethen, had used prescribed methadone while she was pregnant with him.

There were two other reports to the department that year, including a report that Maddox's older sibling had ingested methadone and was revived by Narcan.

At that time, Maddox was then placed with his father, Andrew Williams, where he remained until January 2020, according to the DHHS. 

That's when Williams was reportedly arrested on a burglary charge which led to Maddox going into state custody.

But the department worked to re-unify Maddox with both his parents and in September of that year, Trefethen and Williams were given shared custody, according to the report. 

It goes on to say that during that time both parents and Trefethen's boyfriend were using drugs. 

Fast forward to spring 2021, the department learned from police that Trefethen had called 911 and said she was being abused by her boyfriend. Her children were home at the time, the report said. 

Just a few months later, Maddox was found dead and his mother was charged and convicted of his murder.

Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew and Office of Child and Family Services Director Todd Landry wrote in a statement:

“The death of Maddox Williams was a tragic loss for his family, community, and the state of Maine. There is no higher priority for the Department of Health and Human Services than protecting Maine children from abuse and neglect alongside our partners throughout the state who share in this solemn responsibility. We maintain our commitment to learning all we can from this death as we strive for a system that promotes safety, stability, health and happiness for all Maine children and families.”  

This new information comes just as another 3-year-old has been found dead in Lincoln County.

Maine's Medical Examiner's office has ruled the toddler's death a homicide — though police have not yet charged anyone with the crime.

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