They called him "Sam Bam."
Samuel Brummett Jr., a precocious Glendale 3-year-old, loved his siblings. But now his unexpected death, which his biological mother says resulted from injuries while in foster care, is under investigation.
"Leaving your child in the hands of CPS, you think your child is going to be safe," said his mother, Nikki Rife.
It's unclear what caused the injuries that killed Samuel, but what is clear is that he may not have been taken to the hospital if paramedics weren't already in his Wittmann neighborhood.
According to MCSO, it was April 30 when EMT first responders were on an unrelated call on Mellow Drive and were flagged down for an injured child. They said he was immediately flown to Phoenix Children's Hospital in severe condition.
Rife said she wasn't notified he was in the hospital until a day after he was admitted. He and his siblings didn't live with her because they were taken away in April after allegations of neglect.
"They (the guardians) were family friends and I felt that they would be safe there," she said. "As a mother, I would've never left my children if I didn't feel it was safe for my children to be there."
Samuel died on May 2. The state keeps an online list of child fatalities and near fatalities from abuse or neglect. There have been at least six incidents this year. Samuel's death is not listed as of last check.
However, police have not filed charges against anyone in his death, and at this point, have only called it suspicious.
Rife said her family is having a hard time scheduling a funeral for the boy because they do not have the money to pay for it. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with medical expenses. Click here to donate.