HISTORY OF ABUSE
>> October: A Family Court judge terminates Angelique Rooney’s parental rights to her 4-year-old daughter. Rooney is pregnant with Zion.
>> December: The Department of Human Services closes the case involving Rooney, ending oversight, about a week after Zion is born.
>> March: Zion, 4 months old, is admitted to Kapiolani Medical Center with rib fractures and brain damage. DHS considers Rooney and Kyle McKeown, the boy’s father, primary suspects.
>> March: A multidisciplinary team determines Zion’s injuries are likely due to maltreatment and he would be unsafe returning to his parents’ home. The couple lose custody. Yet no perpetrator is identified. The team notes that both parents have a history of family violence and McKeown has prior convictions for assault and abuse. Still, the team recommends maximizing family reunification efforts.
>> January: Zion’s court-appointed guardian ad litem questions DHS’ decision to close the 2007 case just days after Zion was born. “Given the situation regarding mother’s history and evaluation, DHS had no business closing the case and putting Zion at risk,” attorney Malcolm Hong writes. “Perhaps his injuries could have been avoided had DHS remained on the case.”
>> January: DHS tells the court that the parents do not agree with the department’s intervention. But the couple go along with a service plan. The agency’s goal still is reunification.
>> April: DHS continues to have safety concerns with the parents. It gives them three more months to comply. By July, both parents are in therapy. >> September: Zion is reunified with his mother — without a required multidisciplinary team review to provide feedback on whether reunification is appropriate. No restrictions are placed on Zion’s visits with his father.
>> October: McKeown, now living on Maui, is arrested for allegedly assaulting two police officers during a bar incident.
>> December: Family Court jurisdiction of Zion is terminated based on recommendations of DHS and others involved in the case. DHS says safety issues are resolved and Rooney demonstrates appropriate parenting skills. But McKeown cannot provide a safe home for Zion, according to DHS.
>> February: DHS receives an anonymous report alleging that Zion is being abused by Rooney but does not conduct an investigation.
>> April: DHS closes the file on Zion’s case. >> November: Rooney gives Zion to his father on Maui.
>> May: McKeown brings a severely injured Zion to Maui Memorial Medical Center. The father claims Zion collapsed in the shower. The 4-year-old dies a day later.
>> June: A post-death review highlights DHS’ failure to get recommendations from an outside team of experts before reunifying Zion with his mother. The review also notes that DHS provided only minimal oversight — three months — following reunification. >> June: McKeown and his girlfriend, Grace Lee-Nakamoto, are charged with second-degree murder in connection with Zion’s death. A trial is pending.
>> May: The Legislature appropriates $875,000 to settle a 2014 negligence lawsuit filed on behalf of Zion’s estate.
A picture of Zion McKeown is held by his grandmother, Maryann Rooney.