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ANDERSON, Ind.–Murder and child molestation charges are being filed against the mother and boyfriend of a boy from Anderson who died in February. The Madison County Coroner determined that Harlan Haines was murdered.

In February, Haines was taken to the hospital after his mother’s boyfriend was in a car accident. At the time, Dylan Tate told police he was heading to the hospital because he discovered Harlan sick at home. Hospital workers discovered that Haines had a paper towel stuffed down his throat and that his injuries were likely not caused by the car accident.  

The coroner’s report shows that Haines had injuries to his head, neck, back, and private areas. Neglect charges have already been filed against Tate and the boy’s mother, Jennifer Harris.

Haine’s uncle, Michael McKnight, filed a legal claim against the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) earlier this year, saying they failed his nephew and that they’re trying to cover up his death. 

“Without question, I think we can anticipate murder charges probably coming, child molestation charges,” said Bob Summerfield with CDS Law Group, one of the firms representing Harlan’s uncle. “I think DCS is worried because who knows if charges are coming against them as well. This is a reckless disregard for children.” 

McKnight’s lawsuit says that he and his wife tried to get temporary custody of Haines after they learned of a DCS investigation involving him and allegations of abuse on December 27. DCS denied his request.