A Denver detective assigned to find out from 6-year-old Chandler Grafner whether he had been abused testified that he had no forensic training in how to interview a child, says the Denver Post. Now that he has had the training, detective Curtis Johnson said he realizes that the questions he asked Chandler may have led the child to cover up what the couple who cared for him are accused of doing to him. Johnson testified in a pretrial hearing in the first-degree murder case against the boy’s guardian and his girlfriend. The boy died of starvation and dehydration.
Johnson testified he would now ask more open-ended questions. Karen Blackwell, manager of the forensic interview program at the Denver Children’s Advocacy Center who conducts hundreds of interviews of children every year, says kids are “suggestible” because they see adults as authority figures. “You can plant things in the conversation to get them to agree with you,” Blackwell said.