SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A mother is grieving her son while recalling the good memories.
Speaking to us over the phone from her home in Kansas City, Juanita Dunham explains her 17-year old son, I’Shon, was living in Springfield. He had been sent to the Ozarks to to live with a foster family after experiencing some life challenges.
“I’Shon was very intelligent,” Juanita said. “He was very smart and very loving and caring. He really cared about his siblings. He really cared about his siblings,” she said. “He had a huge heart. He had a huge heart for people.”
I’Shon Dunham’s life was cut short on Thursday, October 7th, after being shot during an incident on Norton Road. Antonio Meanus is charged in that crime. A second individual, a 16-year old male, was also arrested and charged.
“This was just unnecessary. First of all you [Antonio Meanus] are a 31-year old man. Why in the world would you be involved with a 17 year old in any type of a way? So, for him to take my child’s life in this circumstance, it is very upsetting and very hurtful,” Juanita said.
Juanita has a lot questions and concerns when it comes to the foster system, and said she beleives her son wasn’t being supervised properly. The Department of Social Services wasn’t able to comment on this case, but tells us:
• Applicants for foster parenting go through criminal background checks.
• Foster parents undergo training and licensing procedures.
• The department of social services must contact law enforcement.
• Investigations are confidential in most circumstances.
Juantita says she is hoping to see justice for her son and answers from the system.
“I hope that light is shed upon this to let people know and the world know what is really going on in these foster homes. I want them to be held responsible. I want the state to be held responsible for my son’s death.”
The family says it is currently struggling to pay for funeral expenses. A GoFundMe account has been set up at https://gofund.me/96f12edf