A former group home worker who investigators say dropped Shaud Howell and two other teens off at Edgewater Beach the night Howell drowned has been indicted for involuntary manslaughter and two counts of endangering children.
According to investigators, 36-year-old Christina Coleman dropped the teens off at the beach, then left them there unsupervised. Lifeguards had already gone home for the night and the water was so rough that investigators say swimming was banned at the beach that day.
Shaud Howell's body was discovered two days later in Lake Erie.
Coleman was an employee of Quality Care Residential Homes, a group home where Howell was living after being placed there by Cuyahoga County's Division of Child and Family Services. Days after the drowning, an administrator with Quality Care told 5 On Your Side Investigators that Coleman had been fired for taking the teens to the beach without permission.
Coleman is scheduled to be arraigned November 14.
Friday night, Brian Eisen, the attorney representing Howell's family issued a statement in response to th charges:
"Shaud Howell was a terrific, vibrant child whose life was cut short due to the recklessness of people who were supposed to take care of him. The indictment of Ms. Coleman is a welcome development for Shaud’s family. The family is extremely thankful for the hard work of the Cleveland Metroparks Ranger Detective Bureau, which led to this indictment. Accountability for this tragedy, however, should not and must not end with this lone indictment. More work remains to be done to secure full legal accountability from all those individuals and entities who failed to protect Shaud and contributed to his needless death. Foster kids are not throwaway children and must not be treated that way. Much more work remains to be done, both to secure justice for Shaud and to protect other vulnerable children like him."