State officials are investigating a Duluth foster home after a 17-year-old died of an apparent suicide there last month.
Edgar Morey had been under the guardianship of Clearwater County since October 2014 after he accused his adoptive father of raping him, according to court records.
The county placed the boy in Linda Lonetto’s foster home on July 29, court records show. On Aug. 11, Lonetto found Edgar hanging from a belt in a shed, according to Duluth police reports. A police officer who searched Edgar’s room found no suicide notes, but did find a Bible where two passages referencing death had been marked.
Department of Human Services Inspector General Jerry Kerber said Monday the state is investigating the boy’s death for any potential licensing violations but could not provide more information.
A phone number listed for Lonetto, who has been licensed to provide foster care since May 2011, has been disconnected and she could not be reached for comment.
Edgar’s adoptive father, Scott Morey, a Lutheran pastor, was charged in December with 16 counts of criminal sexual conduct, after he was accused of assaulting Edgar and two other children. In an interview with the Star Tribune, Morey has denied he assaulted the children, and accused the county of failing to protect Edgar.
Edgar is the 43rd child to die in a state foster care home or child treatment facility since 2005, according to DHS records. In only a minority of cases, the deaths were the result of foster care failures, the records show.