Who is Richard Blodgett? Jailed single dad blames Arizona child services for 9-yr-old son's death

Who is Richard Blodgett? Jailed single dad blames Arizona child services for 9-yr-old son's death
Richard Blodgett was in jail when his son, Jakob, died while under the supervision of Arizona's child protection agency (Navajo County Sheriff's Office/ Facebook)

FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA: Just days after being taken into state custody, single father Richard Blodgett learned that his son was brain dead and on life support from a staffer from Arizona's child protection agency while he was being held in jail on a drug conviction. Blodgett yelled and cried out loud after hearing the tragic news about his only son Jakob, a "darn cute" and inquisitive nine-year-old who enjoyed playing video games and driving remote-controlled vehicles. 

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The single father is currently having a hard time understanding what took place. Jakob was diagnosed with diabetes as a toddler, and a medical examiner reported that he died late in December 2022 from complications related to the disease, in particular, Type-1 diabetes, which indicated that his body was unable to create enough insulin to sustain life, reports New York Post.

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According to Blodgett, the Arizona Department of Child Safety may have neglected to keep an eye on Jakob's blood sugar levels or failed to make sure that he had access to enough insulin to avoid a potentially fatal complication known as ketoacidosis. "They couldn’t keep him alive for two weeks, two weeks," the father told AP, while on a recent furlough from jail. "That’s absolutely insane. That was my pride and joy. I’m lost. I’m completely lost. My family is completely lost," he added. Jakob's death is being investigated by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

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Who is Richard Blodgett?

When Blodgett was arrested in December, he and Jakob were staying at a motel. He already had a drug case pending and had served time in prison. He reportedly said that he spent much of the day operating a backhoe and stopped at a gas station to nap. The Show Low Police Department investigation confirmed this, however, officers indicated that they suspected Blodgett was unconscious due to drugs.

Authorities reportedly discovered more than 4,000 fentanyl pills in Blodgett's possession. As per records from the Navajo County Superior Court, Blodgett was booked into the Holbrook jail and charged with one count of drug possession. He admitted to using fentanyl for pain relief after undergoing weight loss surgery that caused him to lose 300 pounds. "I wasn’t getting high. I wasn’t abusing them. I was using them to be able to work and provide for my son," Blodgett said, adding, "Unfortunately, they are illegal. I can’t get around that. But they were stronger than my meds, and they were working."

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According to the police report, Jakob was alone in the motel room when an officer came to get him and informed the Department of Child Safety. As the cops surrounded him, Blodgett called his son, whom he claimed was always checked in at the motel. According to Blodgett, he told Jakob he had run into problems and the youngster enquired as to whether his father would be alright. The two frequently traveled together through Arizona while posing for selfies, getting snacks at petrol stations and playing with Nerf guns. "The last time I got to see my son, he was already dead," Blodgett stated.

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