BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Family and friends gathered Sunday evening to remember a boy who was stabbed to death in North Buffalo. Police say last month 8-year-old Jacob Noe’s mother murdered him. In the midst of rain falling on a dreary Sunday, loved ones of Jacob Noe sent balloons up into the air at Cazenovia Park, hoping he’ll see them from heaven. “I’m so glad that everyone was able to come out today to show him how much we all care and love him and we will continue to think about him forever, everyday for the rest of our lives,” said Krystal Vidal a friend of the family.
It was almost a month ago when police were called to Jacob’s home in the middle of the night. They say his mother, Jessica Murphy had just stabbed the 8-year-old to death. Her family told News 4 Murphy suffers from mental disorders. But Sunday wasn’t to remember how he died, rather the life inside a little boy that brought so much joy to others. “Jacob was such a sweet young boy. He didn’t deserve to go early. We miss him very much. He was very athletic, outgoing. He loved playing outside. He was a joy to know for the few years that I did know him,” said Vidal.
Jacob’s case is the latest to draw more scrutiny to Child Protective Services and the way it handles cases.
A source tells News 4, a Child Protective Services caseworker was investigating Jacob’s mother prior to his death, but the caseworker was suspended. The source says the suspended caseworker’s coworkers were supposed to help, but they were so busy with their own cases they couldn’t monitor the mother.
“There have been five deaths over the past four years, there have been 33 disciplinary actions as a result, five firings, nine suspensions and still we have issues,” said Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon. Some Erie County Legislators have called on the Commissioner of Social Services, Carol Dankert-Maurer to resign after Jacob’s death. “I’m not looking to make someone a scapegoat. I’m looking to prevent the death of another child. What needs to be done to do that?” said Erie County Legislator Joseph Lorigo.
While changes are in the works for CPS, those who knew Jacob are left with gaping holes in their hearts. “He is gone, but he’ll never be forgotten by any of us and we’re just grateful he was able to be a part of our life,” said Vidal.
Last week, the Commissioner of Social Services went before the Erie County Legislature asking for more than 30 positions be added to her department. It’s now waiting on approval by the legislature.