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Report shows 23 deaths in Utah child-welfare cases

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah officials say 23 children died over the last year after state child-welfare authorities became involved in their cases, marking a slight increase over the year before.

A report released Wednesday shows four of the deaths between July 2017 and June 2018 were homicides. The others were suicides, accidents or from natural causes.

The kids range in age from newborns to 18 years old. The annual report includes all children who had an open child-welfare case within a year of their death.

It does not detail how workers became involved, what steps they took or the fatal circumstances.

The agency reported 21 deaths during the same time period last year, and 33 the year before.

Ashley Sumner with the Utah Department of Human Services says any death is devastating.

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