Site hosted by Build your free website today!

"The world is dangerous to live in not because of the people who do evil things,
 but because of the people who know about it but do nothing to stop it."

The children's first names are links that will take you to websites with more information...
I would like to give credit to the Littlestangels,
Children Who Never Made It Home and Stolen Innocence webpages for most of the names found here.

First Name




Rickie Blake 14 DNA allegedly links a repeat sex offender to the 1986 killing of a 14-year-old Chula Vista girl, 10News reported.

George Williams Jr., 47, could face the death penalty if convicted in connection with the death of Rickie Blake.

Prosecutors also charged Williams with a special-circumstance allegation of rape during the commission of a murder.

Williams pleaded not guilty Friday to rape and murder charges, according to 10News.

The decision on whether to ask for the death penalty will be made after a preliminary hearing, Deputy District Attorney Jeff Dusek said.

The child disappeared the night of April 10, 1986. The teen's body was found near a Barrio Logan freeway offramp the next morning. She had been raped and strangled, Dusek said.

The prosecutor told Superior Court Judge David Szumowski that Williams molested his 6-year-old daughter in 1984.

Two years later -- a week after Blake's murder -- Williams raped a woman in San Diego at knifepoint, sexually molested her 6-year-old daughter, then raped the woman again, Dusek said.

After spending time in prison, Williams moved to Indiana and sexually assaulted a 13-year-old in February 1998, the prosecutor said.

"I'm so thankful that they got him," said the victim's mother, Alicia, outside court. "He's hurt too many people."

Melissa Bittler 14 PORTLAND -- A Portland father is suing Multnomah County over his daughter's rape and murder.

Melissa Bittler, 14, was sexually assaulted and killed Dec. 13, 2001, as she walked to school. Her body was found in a neighbor's back yard.

The suspect, LaDon Stephens, was on parole for a previous conviction when he allegedly raped three girls in 1997 and raped and killed Bittler in 2001. He was arrested in April 2002 on another rape accusation, and DNA evidence linked him to the Bittler case.

Stephens maintains his innocence.

The lawsuit accuses the county of lax and sloppy parole supervision. It also claims that officials did a poor job on his polygraph tests and falsified Stephens' signature on records to make it look as though he was keeping parole appointments.

Tom Bittler is seeking $500,000 and apologies from Multnomah County and the Oregon Corrections Department.

Jackie Clark 8 At the New Brunswick launch of Amber Alert, the tortured mother of murdered eight-year-old Jackie Clark said it's a useful tool for police.

"Even if it saves one child, it has been totally worth it," Tammy Grant said in Fredericton, recalling the 1995 death of her daughter, who was sexually assaulted before her body was found under brush along a trail. Murray Lyons, who was convicted in Jackie's death, was murdered by another inmate at the Atlantic Institution in Renous.
Destiny Flores 3 Potential jurors were still being questioned Tuesday for the two-year-old capital murder trial of Thomas Raul Gallo, 28, of South Houston, scheduled to begin this week.

"I'm not looking forward to doing this again. I've already tried this case once," said Lance Long, the assistant district attorney who secured a guilty verdict for the same case in 2002.

Two years ago Monday, jurors took less than two hours to convict Gallo of the 2001 rape and murder of his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter, Destiny Flores. Flores would have been 5 years old this year, but died from blunt force head trauma at her South Houston home days before her fourth birthday.

South Houston police responded to a 911 call at 1016 Avenue M after Flores went into convulsions and stopped breathing. Flores' mother, Christine Aredondo, 26, administered CPR, but the toddler died later that night at Bayshore Medical Center. South Houston Police Chief Herbert Gilbert was a patrol officer in 2001 and was one of the first officers on the scene after Aredondo's frantic 911 call.

"I do remember it, and it will always stand out in my mind," Gilbert said. "Seeing that child in the back of the ambulance ... it was something a child should never go through."

Police said they found Flores with multiple bruises and bite marks on her body. Her skin was white and it was apparent the child had been sexually assaulted, police reported in 2001.

A pair of children's bloody underwear was found, and detectives at the scene then remarked it was "the worst type of crime a law enforcement officer could encounter."

Gallo showed no emotion when he was found guilty of capital murder, and Flores' father said he felt like justice was served. A problem with the case arose when a terminally ill juror could not continue with the trial and participate in sentencing. Without the one juror, Harris County Judge Jeannine Barr declared a mistrial Jan. 2, 2003.

One year later, the trial begins again, and Gallo still maintains his innocence. Sgt. John Laird, a detective with the South Houston police, said in 2002 that Gallo claimed "to not know the child was injured. He said he woke up and found her. He denied killing her, but did consent to a DNA test."

Officials at the Harris County Medical Examiner's office testified that the bite marks on Flores belonged to three different people, Gallo being one of them.

Gallo's defense revolved heavily on his care for Destiny and her two brothers, then ages 3 and 5. Gallo would often baby-sit the three children three to fours hours a day while Aredondo was at work.

Other potential suspects were presented in the case, pinpointing several relatives who would have had access to the house that morning, an uncle, Gilbert Postel, in particular.

Postel was presented by the defense as a prime suspect who was "lazy and dangerous" with a history of criminal activity. The defense also alleged he liked to bite women during sex. Aredondo was also considered by defense attorney Gerald Bourque who believes she was with the child during her time of death.

Neither Aredondo nor Postel were ever charged with the rape and murder.

Harris County Children's Protective Services investigated claims that Flores was abused three months before her death.

An anonymous caller said the toddler had a suspicious rash that possibly resulted from insufficient care in 2001. Judy Hay, CPS spokeswoman said a social worker interviewed Flores and observed no signs of abuse. However, several family friends testified in the initial trial that it was common to find the toddler with bruises all over her face.

Jury selection is expected to be completed today, and opening statements will begin this week.

Neither prosecution nor defense have revealed if they will focus on a new angle in the case, but Gilbert said he doesn't see the verdict changing.

"I would think if (Gallo) got that verdict, he should get the same verdict this time around," he said. "I don't see anything changing."
Ashley Marie Parks 15

OLYMPIA -- 01-09-2004-A former high school teacher charged with killing a teenage girl he met on the Internet could face a jury next week, depending on the outcome of a hearing today in Thurston County Superior Court.

Stephan D. Kaufman's trial is scheduled to begin Monday but prosecutors plan to ask the court for a delay to allow more time to complete forensic tests that could offer better estimates of when the girl died.

Prosecutors also are awaiting results from tests of DNA samples taken from the victim, Ashley Parks, 16, and other pieces of evidence collected from the crime scene.

Parks' body was so badly decomposed when she was found last summer that forensic scientists have had difficulty finding adequate DNA samples to analyze.

" 'CSI' wants everybody to think that the detectives can bring portable DNA tests out to the scene and have DNA tests for you in an hour. In reality, that's not true," Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jon Tunheim said, referring to the television crime drama about forensic scientists.

Parks, who lived in Bellingham, was found Aug. 28 in a wooded area along the Chehalis Western Trail, north of Olympia and less than a mile from Kaufman's apartment. Investigators suspect her body had been placed there weeks before.

An e-mail Parks sent to a friend in Bellingham from Kaufman's computer led investigators to his Olympia apartment.

Police said that he at first denied knowing the girl but later told detectives he'd met her in a chat room and brought her to Thurston County, letting her stay with him because she was "down on her luck."

He denies causing her death, court documents say. Kaufman, 44, is charged with second-degree murder and two counts of third-degree rape.

The rape charges involve statements he made to investigators admitting he'd had sex with her twice, according to court documents. Authorities allege the girl was 15, or younger than the
legal age for sexual consent, when she had sex with him, according to court documents.

During a hearing Thursday, Kaufman's attorney, Michael Hanbey, said his case is unfairly disadvantaged because he won't have time to review the remaining forensic reports if they're completed after the trial begins.

That also would prevent him from hiring an outside expert to review the information and provide an independent opinion, which could violate his client's right to a fair trial, he said.

Hearing today - A hearing is scheduled this afternoon in Judge Thomas McPhee's courtroom. After today's hearing, the judge could grant prosecutors' request for a delay or he could decide to begin the trial as scheduled.

He also could grant a motion filed by Hanbey, which asks the court to suppress any evidence that wasn't presented to the defense as part of discovery before testimony.

McPhee expressed some frustration in court that the tests were not complete. The State Patrol Crime Lab, which handles cases statewide, is performing the DNA tests. The other analysis is being conducted by a forensic entomologist in Indiana.

Forensic entomologists assess the development of insect eggs deposited in decomposing remains to estimate the time of death.

Tunheim said he'll file a motion to reschedule the trial for within the next two months, which is the amount of time he thinks remains before Kaufman's right to a speedy trial would be violated.

Neither side could predict how much the pending forensics reports will affect the case. Parks' body might have been placed along the trail in late July or August, Tunheim said. Hanbey said his client might have been in California when authorities say she was killed. "My client has stated that he was out of the area for a significant amount of time."

Hanbey also said he wants to get his client to trial as soon as possible. Kaufman, once a part-time teacher at North Thurston High School, was fired in May for inappropriate and unprofessional communication with a female student.

The allegation involved an e-mail he sent to the student inviting her to a party at his house and asking her to "keep this quiet," according to documents from the school district's investigation.

Ashley's loved ones have notified me that there are many inaccuracies in the above article. Thank you Veronica. This is to set the record straight:

Ashley Marie Parks was only 15 years old, not 16, when she disappeared. Forensics have since proven that she was murdered at the end of July, days before her "Sweet 16" birthday. This is a sad fact for all of us who loved her, as she was so looking forward to reaching this mark in her life.

As to where she was living, much of the media has gotten it wrong. At the time she disappeared, she was visiting her dad in Blaine, WA. for the summer.  Some of the media has also said that she was being tossed around and living from friends home to friends home. I want it to be known that these are incorrect statements that came from the defense to set off the jury, and are completely not true. Like any other teenager, she did hang out with her friends and sometimes even stay with them for 2-3 days at a time during her summer break.

Ashley lived with me in Custer, WA., and attended Ferndale High School. Custer is located 6 miles north of Ferndale,WA., 6 miles south of Blaine, WA. (located on the Canadian border), 5-6 miles east of Birch Bay, WA., and 5-6 miles west of Lynden, WA. Bellingham is about 25-28 miles south from us. She was supposed to be back home the first part of time for her birthday party and school shopping, but the combination of her trusting nature and one error in judgment that stole her life, she never made it home. My house is now quiet and empty with only her and belongings and the memories left behind to remind me of the sweet girl who never stopped smiling.

Here is the update on this monster's "wrist slapping". Ashley is permanently gone and this freak will be free to walk the streets in a few years. Please stand up for this child and protect others by rallying against the lax penalty given to predators!!! _________________________________________________

The jury came back with a verdict April 13, 2004.
Stephan Kaufman has been found guilty of second degree murder and 2 counts of third degree rape of a child.
Sentencing will be in a week or two. He is facing
ONLY 12-20 years for murder, and will be sentenced for each count of rape separately.

However, it looks like he is still be investigated for other charges and may be back in court again. Ashley was not his first victim, but she was the one who helped expose him and hopefully the last one he will ever even get close to again!

Update: On July 17, 2004, Stephan D. Kaufman was sentenced to a 29 1/2 year prison sentence for 2nd degree murder and 2 counts of 3rd degree child rape. He will not be eligible for parole untill he has served at least 22 years of his sentence.

He will be in his 70's before he will be able to even use, or own, a computer. Nor will he be allowed to walk into a mall, park, library, or any other place a child might be, without legal supervision at his side.
Ashley's life was short, but she died a hero! Because of her, this man is off the streets and other innocent lives have been saved!


Mary Jean Thigpen 4 LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Jason Reeves – Sentenced to death in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana   By: A jury
Date of crime: 11/12/2001
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Reeves kidnapped, raped and stabbed 4-year old Mary Jean Thigpen 16 times and left her in the woods. Reeves confessed to molesting the girl but did not remember killing her. In mitigation, Reeves was essentially raised by his sister until he was ten and saw an 18-wheeler crush and kill her.

As a child, Reeves also was raped by a neighbor and never received any counseling. In aggravation, Reeves has a child molestation case pending. Reeves was tried previously, but the trial ended in a mistrial after a juror would not vote to convict Reeves of murder.

Sources: Baton Rouge Advocate 10/13/04 (2004 WL 58417570), 11/8/04 (2004 WL 58420418), 11/9/04 (2004 WL 58420482); Associated Press Newswires 11/6/04 11/9/04
John Landos


1974- AUSTRALIA-A serial pedophile has been named as the most likely suspect in the disappearance of a Sunshine teenager more than 30 years ago from Lorne.

The family of John Landos held fears that the 13-year-old had been brainwashed by hippies or abducted by people smugglers. For the first decade, they chased every rumour in towns too numerous to mention.

His parents, Ken and Nicki Landos, even bought a house in Lorne with extensive views, to keep a lookout for their eldest son. John's brother Andrew said the family had been "eclipsed by this tragic event".

"What happened to John casts a long, far-reaching shadow on our lives," he said.

An inquest was told yesterday that a known sex offender, Reginald Edward Isaacs, was paroled not long before before John's disappearance from Lorne's Erskine River caravan park on January 8, 1973.

Isaacs frequented the Lorne area before being jailed in 1974 for 25 years for drugging, raping and murdering nine-year-old Gregory Cowie who was from Haddon, near Ballarat. He was interviewed over John's disappearance and made no admissions, but did say he was in Lorne in 1973 cutting tea-trees and often drove from Lorne to Geelong via Dean's Marsh Road.

The last confirmed sighting of John, a bright student who was about to start year 8 at Sunshine High School, was on Dean's Marsh Road, walking alone. He was wearing a red short-sleeved shirt, brown corduroy pants and white sandshoes. None of his clothing or
personal items have been found.

Senior Detective Brent Fisher told the Coroners Court yesterday that Isaacs had settled in Geelong in 1950 after migrating from England and began to torment young boys across Victoria.

Failing to control what one prison psychiatrist described as his "homosexual pedophilia drives", Isaacs was jailed in 1952 and 1957 for child sex offences.

In 1964, after having served a six-year term, he was jailed again for 10 years for buggery and indecent acts, and was paroled in February 1972. Senior Detective Fisher said that as of a result of reopening the inquiry into John's disappearance this year, investigators believed Isaacs was the most likely suspect after ruling out initial police investigations that dismissed John's disappearance as a routine runaway.

He said Isaacs committed suicide six months into his long jail term. Gregory Cowie was hitching a ride and was picked up by Isaacs in his 1966 Ford ute.

Isaacs was driving to St Albans when intercepted by police for a routine check. He told them that Gregory, who was lying across the front seat, was a relative. He later drove to Wombat Forest in Trentham where he murdered the boy. Police appealed in March this year to anyone who saw the Ford ute in the Lorne area at the weekend of John's disappearance.

Coroner Heather Spooner will deliver her finding on November 26, but the family said they had "no closure". Said brother Andrew: "Our family hoped that it was John, every time the phone rang... every time there was a knock on the door... every time there was a sighting."


Cowie 9
Tyra Knox 7 February 5, 2004-Memphis, TN – The Shelby County Grand Jury has indicted Tobias Johnson, 24, for aggravated rape. This indictment is unrelated to the murder of 7-year-old Tyra Knox last summer and to the additional aggravated rape and rape of a child charges Johnson faces.

The latest indictment against Johnson comes after an investigation by the Memphis Police Department’s Sex Crimes Unit. The alleged incident happened on August 20, 2003. Because of the nature of the alleged crime, the victim’s name cannot be released.

Johnson was indicted on January 13 on two counts of first degree murder during the perpetration of a felony, especially aggravated kidnapping and aggravated child abuse in the Tyra Knox case. He was indicted on the separate, unrelated aggravated rape and rape of a child charges in October 2003. Johnson is being held without bond in the Shelby County Jail.

Johnson’s next scheduled court appearance is set for February 20, 2003 in Criminal Court Division 4. The different rape and murder charges will be handled in separate trials.

Aggravated rape is a Class A felony, which carries a standard sentence of 15 to 25 years in prison. If convicted of aggravated rape, Johnson would not be eligible for parole.

Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons has stated that his office intends to seek the death penalty in the murder case against Johnson.

The charge of aggravated rape is covered by the District Attorney’s “No Deals” policy on violent crime.

This case will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Scot Bearup, who is assigned to the Child Protection Investigative Team.

Carlie Brucia 11 02.20.04-SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) - An auto mechanic accused of killing a girl whose abduction was captured on a car wash surveillance camera was indicted on a first-degree murder charge
Friday as prosecutors indicated for the first time they believe he raped the 11-year-old.

The state attorney's office separately filed charges of kidnapping and capital sexual battery against Joseph P. Smith, 37, assistant state attorney Dennis Nales said. Prosecutors declined to release details of the charge.

Smith is accused of killing Carlie Brucia, whose body was found near a church five days after she was abducted Feb. 1. Investigators have refused to say exactly how the girl was killed, except by "homicidal violence."

Nales declined comment on whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Smith, who's being held without bond in the Sarasota County jail.

Smith's public defender, Adam Tebrugge, said his client will plead not guilty at his arraignment scheduled for March 12. "We will thoroughly investigate the case and vigorously defend Mr. Joseph Smith," Tebrugge said.

Carlie was abducted around dusk as she took a shortcut behind the car wash while heading home from a friend's house. The digital video security system showed a man in a blue mechanic's uniform grabbing the sixth-grader's arm and walking her off.

The video images were broadcast on television news, and at least two acquaintances called police to say they recognized the man as Smith. He was arrested Feb. 3.

Carlie's body was found Feb. 6 about three miles from the car wash. Investigators say Smith told a jail visitor where they could find the body.

Smith is a drug felon and had avoided jail at least twice despite violating probation and has been arrested at least 13 times in Florida since 1993. Two cases involved attacks on women, but he was acquitted in one of the cases.

The girl's death has prompted Florida's Attorney General Charlie Crist to consider whether to stiffen penalties for offenders who violate the terms of their release. The Florida Legislature also is expected to take up the issue.
Edith Connor 12 PHILADELPHIA - To supporters, Louis Mickens-Thomas is an aging inmate who has endured four decades of wrongful imprisonment for the rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl. The victim's family says he is a monster who remains a threat to society.

Guilty or not, the Philadelphia cobbler is to be released from prison this week, the culmination of a tortuous case marked by blunders, reverses and charges of chicanery.

Mickens-Thomas, 75, claims fraud by a police crime lab led to his conviction for the rape and murder of Edith Connor, whose battered body was found in an alley behind his shop. Supporters convinced the late Gov. Robert Casey to commute his life sentence in 1995 but he has been kept behind bars.

His impending freedom has infuriated the family of the dead child.

"I think of this. I look at this. And I can't sleep at night over it," said Prince Connor, a retired police officer who was 14 when his sister was killed in 1964. "There is no closure, no justice. This has been a fiasco from day one. My family felt that this guy should have gotten the death penalty."

A federal appeals court ruled that state parole officials showed "vindictiveness" in their refusal to honor a clemency order, the reason for Mickens-Thomas's release.

In his first trial, a crime lab technician testified that paint chips from the shop and bristles from a shoe brush had been found on the girl's clothing. Mickens-Thomas was convicted, but later granted a new trial when the technician was unmasked as a fraud who had never graduated high school.

He was convicted again after the lab's director testified that he, not the discredited technician, analyzed the particles.

Mickens-Thomas spent the next three decades as a model prisoner, becoming a Christian Scientist and earning a bachelor's degree from Villanova University through correspondence classes.

DNA analysis was not available in the 1960s, and it is too late for a test now. All physical evidence in the case was discarded in the early 1990s.

Centurion Ministries, a New Jersey-based group that fights for the release of prisoners it believes are innocent, ultimately persuaded Casey, a Democrat, to commute Mickens-Thomas'

The decision made him eligible for parole in 1996, but two Republican successors, Gov. Tom Ridge and Gov. Mark Schweiker, refused to release him. As recently as last spring, parole
officials argued that Mickens-Thomas remained an "unrepentant dangerous sexual offender."

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 14 that the board had acted in "bad faith" in refusing to consider parole, and ordered him released.

Mickens-Thomas is scheduled to be freed by Thursday at the latest, according to Parole Board spokeswoman Lauren Taylor.

Connor's family notes that the murder conviction was not Mickens-Thomas' first brush with the law. Before his incarceration, police investigated allegations that he attempted to sexually assault a 14-year-old baby sitter. A second woman told police Mickens-Thomas once choked her with a scarf until she fainted. He was not prosecuted in either case.

During their evaluation of Mickens-Thomas last year, parole board members said he continued to display "anger and resentment toward women."

Centurion Ministries founder Jim McCloskey describes Mickens-Thomas as a gentleman who has developed friendships with guards, worked nearly every day that he's spent behind bars and
been cited for prison violations only four times in 40 years.

"This is a very nice, honest man who will walk out of prison," McCloskey said. "He will be a
model citizen on the outside, just as he has been a model citizen on the inside."
Nassim Davoodi 14 Two men accused of killing a 14-year-old Bartlett High School freshman will face the death penalty if convicted, prosecutors said Friday.

Skyler M. Chambers and Turner Reeves III have pleaded innocent to the May 31, 2002, crime. No trial date has been set.

They are charged with abducting, raping and murdering Nassim Davoodi after offering the Carol Stream girl and a male classmate a ride home from school. The classmate is Reeves' cousin.

Police found Nassim's body five days later, buried in a shallow grave in Lake County. Prosecutors said they have DNA evidence linking both Reeves, 23, of Hanover Park, and 22-year-old Chambers, of Hayward, Cal., to the murder.

The slain girl's father, Jamal Davoodi, said the family supports prosecutors' decision. He said they had hoped the defendants would accept a plea deal that would spare the family an emotional trial filled with morbid details of Nassim's death.

The defendants, though, turned down an 80-year offer in exchange for no death sentence, he said.

"They deserve it," Jamal Davoodi said of the death penalty. "They took the life of a child which they didn't care about. Why should their lives be worth more than hers?

"Hopefully, justice will come."

Prosecutors look at the defendants' past, rehabilitative potential, brutality of the crime, the victim's age, her family's wishes, among other factors, in seeking a capital sentence.

Fewer people are being condemned to death row since the state began retooling its flawed capital punishment system. Just two men received death sentences last year, prison statistics show, compared to 15 or more in previous years.

Earlier this week, DeWitt County officials indicated last year's emptying of death row played a role in their decision against seeking the death penalty for a Clinton mother who with her boyfriend is accused of drowning the woman's three children.

Prosecutors in both DuPage and Cook counties conferred on the death decision in the Davoodi case since the defendants were granted a venue change to Cook some 16 months after their

"You seek it (the death penalty) only if you are convinced that ultimately it is the right decision," DuPage State's Attorney Joseph Birkett said, "and that, ultimately, the verdict
will be upheld."

In a 20-count indictment, Chambers and Reeves are charged with murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, child abduction, kidnapping and concealment of a homicide.

The men, who are being held without bond, do not have extensive criminal histories. They are expected in court again Feb. 10.

Case: Both counties agreed to seek death penalty
Jennifer Baker 16 CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. 01.07.04-- Prosecutors have decided against seeking a death sentence against a man accused of abducting a girl from Colorado Springs and raping and killing her at a camp site.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Friday in the retrial of Anthony Jimenez, 26, who is charged with first-degree murder and other crimes in the 2000 death of 16-year-old Jennifer Baker.

Prosecutors filed notice Dec. 29 they no longer will seek the death penalty. District Attorney Jeanne Smith said prosecutors reached their decision after talking to jurors in Jimenez's first trial.

"We took into consideration their view of the evidence and their perception of how a death penalty decision might have gone," Smith said Tuesday.

A judge declared a mistrial last summer after a juror shared outside information about the crime scene with other jurors.

Even before that, the trial was wrought with conflict: The jury forewoman walked out, saying she was being intimidated, and the judge rejected defense motions to recuse himself for failing to protect jurors.

Baker's mother, Kathy Hicks, originally favored Jimenez's execution, but said she understands the prosecution's decision.

"If he is convicted, he will still see life in prison without parole, and to me that's a death sentence in itself," she said. "I just want it over with."

Jimenez's attorneys say a former friend, Michael Easton, raped and killed the girl and then blamed Jimenez, who was sleeping in a tent when the crimes occurred.

Easton was sentenced to 73 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for his testimony against Jimenez.
Kristy Degg 14 This young girl's tragic end was hidden until an article relating to Carlie Brucias kidnapping and murder was posted. There are many unlisted children that I come across  regularly that are sadly updated when a more recent murder is publicized.

SARASOTA, FL --02.08.04-- Images of the girl in blue jeans and a red top, abducted near a car wash last week (Carlie Brucias) bring back haunting memories for Sandra Degg.

Immediately her mind zips back nine years, to her oldest daughter.

Kristy Degg was only 14 when she vanished from her Deer Hollow Lane home one evening in May 1995. The badly decomposed body of the Booker Middle honor roll student was found three weeks later, five miles from her home in a shallow grave east of Interstate 75.

Watching newscasts that replayed a surveillance tape of Carlie's abduction behind a local car wash "was pretty devastating," Degg said Saturday.

"So close to home, so close to home."

The mothers of the two girls met for the first time Friday at Carlie's mother's home, hours after Carlie's body was found. They shared what Degg described as "a moment of loss together." She offered the family her support.

"I said, 'I know exactly what you're going through,' " Degg recalled from her home Saturday afternoon.

Carlie's abrupt, tragic death is similar to Kristy's. The girls, pretty with long, blond hair, were middle school students who excelled in studies. Both were reported missing on a Sunday, their bodies later found dumped.

The suspects, too, were both local men who had been in and out of the justice system.

Joseph P. Smith, who is charged in Carlie's death, is a felon with more than a dozen arrests.

The prime suspect in Kristy's kidnapping and murder is Richard Lee Walker, who has a history of crimes involving children. Kristy was last seen alive at home with her two younger siblings and Walker, at the time the live-in boyfriend of her mother.

Sandra Degg, who said she didn't know of Walker's criminal record when he moved in, was at work.

"He took advantage of the situation," she said. "And she was gone."

Lack of evidence has prevented authorities from charging him in Kristy's death. The case remains open, her mother said, adding that she believes the criminal justice system failed in the case.

Though Kristy has been gone for years, she remains an integral part of the lives of her family and friends. Photographs of Kristy cover the walls of her family's home. Her mother, a nurse, constantly carries a key chain with Kristy's smiling face. Her 8-month-old niece shares the same piercing blue eyes and smile.

Still, Degg said, she refuses to watch old home videos of Kristy alone, saying it's too painful to watch her oldest daughter alive, smiling and dancing.

"You can't replace a child. The pain never goes away."

Carlie's death also brought back painful memories to Roy Brown, whose daughter, Amanda, has been missing since 1998. There is evidence that Amanda was murdered, but her body was never

Brown drove to Sarasota from his home in Tampa on Friday when he learned Carlie had been found, murdered. He and Amanda's stepmother, Sylvia Brown, wanted to reach out to Carlie's family.

"I'm here if you need anybody to talk to," he said. "I've been there, I know how the courts work, how long it takes."

A drug and alcohol abuser has been sentenced to death for Amanda's murder. But Brown said he still felt cheated by the court system, because as a witness he was never allowed to attend
most of the trial or show any emotion.

He said he has wanted to go to the scenes of other kidnappings, but Carlie's was the first one close enough to home. He said that when she disappeared, he immediately feared the worse.

"That's the sad part, when you've been through this you automatically think that," he said.

Brown said his daughter was taken from her bed by a man her mother, who was separated from Brown, had met in a bar.

"Time doesn't heal (the pain)," he said, "it just slows it down."

For Carlie's family, the pain is still fresh. But in an TV interview Friday night, Susan Schorpen, Carlie's mother, said: "Life is so short. Cherish your child."


1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18

[ Home | Send Comments here | Recent News | Our Strategy ]
Informed Decisions
The Proposed Zero Tolerance Bill ]
Current Bills in Congress | Consequences of Inaction ]
H.A.V.O.C. Message Board | Survivor Sites | Missing Children Sites ]
Tears In Heaven | Statistics | Massive Ways To Protect Our Children ]