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Timeline of events in the Poutre case

Timeline of events

A chronology of the state Department of Social Service's involvement with the 11-year-old Westfield girl who is in a vegetative state. The agency received the Supreme Judicial Court's permission this week to remove life support, but after signs that she is improving, says it has no immediate plans to do so.

1998: DSS receives custody of 4-year-old Haleigh, based on reports she had allegedly been sexually abused by her mother's boyfriend, but allows her to stay with her aunt as a foster child.

September 2002: DSS receives first report that Haleigh is allegedly being abused in the home of her aunt, Holli Strickland, who legally adopted her in October 2001.

October 2002-May 2005: DSS receives 15 more complaints of neglect or abuse of Haleigh. The agency determines that most are unsupported by evidence.

Sept. 11: Haleigh is brought to Westfield hospital with multiple bruises and fractures in various stages of healing.

Sept. 12: DSS concludes there is ''reasonable cause" to believe Haleigh has been abused.

Sept. 13: DSS takes full custody of Haleigh.

Sept. 30: The latest date that DSS went to court seeking an order to remove life support, according to court records.

Oct. 5: Juvenile court judge grants order allowing DSS to remove breathing and feeding tubes.

Tuesday: Supreme Judicial Court backs order allowing removal of life support.

Wednesday: DSS discloses that Haleigh is breathing on her own and showing other signs of improvement, and says it has no immediate plans to withdraw life support.

Yesterday: DSS Commissioner Harry Spence said he will solicit outside expertise to help decide Haleigh's future.

SOURCES: Supreme Judicial Court, DSS

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