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Investigation into youth's death continues

November 10, 2010

The Department of Family and Protective Services and Brazoria County law enforcement officials have begun an investigation into the death of a Howard County youth who died at a residential treatment center in Manvel Friday.

Michael Keith Owens, 16, died Friday at a Houston-area hospital. The preliminary cause of death, officials said, was believed to be asphyxiation although a final determination is awaiting results of an autopsy. DFPS officials said earlier this week that a preliminary investigation showed evidence of “restraint techniques” being used on Owens prior to his death.

The boy had been a resident at the Daystar Residential Treatment Center in Manvel, about 25 miles south of Houston, since March 24, DFPS officials confirmed.

Owens had been under the conservatorship of Child Protective Services since June 4, 2008, when CPS petitioned a court for his removal from his Howard County home.

In an e-mail response to questions, Marleigh Meisner of DFPS said the agency put Daystar management on notice Nov. 1 that the facility would be placed on probation because of “persistent concerns about the facility and the children in its care.” No foster children had been placed at the facility since June 11, and a special monitor was hired and worked at the facility until late September, Meisner added.

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