Parents accused of confining children to garage, trailer as pun...

Full story: Las Cruces Sun-News

Las Cruces police have arrested the parents of four children who allegedly punished the girls by confining them to the garage - and later an unfurnished mobile home - for days at a time.
Comments
121 - 140 of 589 Comments Last updated Jul 18, 2014

“I Put the "B" in ITCH!!”

Since: Jun 08

Wood-Ridge, NJ

#125 Aug 13, 2008
bikes wrote:
<quoted text>
LOL! Geez, I thought I was the only one who knew what sarcasm was. Not too sharp out there folks, are ya?
Native New Mexicans are slowwwwwwwwwwwww

“I Put the "B" in ITCH!!”

Since: Jun 08

Wood-Ridge, NJ

#126 Aug 13, 2008
Judas wrote:
It is NOT lawful to kick a minor child out of the house. You guys in Pittsburgh should have gone to the child welfare authorities if the person in question was under the age of 18. It's still child neglect.
Taht's what I've been saying, if these caring folks from PA knew about all of this, they should have reported it. It's a little late now to be wringing your hands PA friends. If a child is under the age of 18, you cannot kick them out (by law) unless they petition the court to become emancipated.
Pittsburgh Mom

Bridgeville, PA

#127 Aug 13, 2008
What matters is the here & now & moving forward. I have not heard back from the local paper/reporter concerning some central place or site to join efforts. If anyone has an idea, please step up. The most recent article states that the girls are with family...don't quote me on this but I heard yesterday that the eldest & her aunt were traveling there. I'm hoping that's the case & that's the family that's spoken of.

Forward...what happens from here on in is what's important...it's all that we have control over.
Mike Barrett

AOL

#128 Aug 13, 2008
local mom of four wrote:
<quoted text>
At one point you observed the girls (you didn't think it strange that they were alone, no parents living with them?)and yet in another response you read the reports. I am sure it was nice to see the dad driving up in his nice expensive car or was it the van at the time to check on them? Tell me Mike who are you???
==========
A concerned neighbor.
Mike Barrett

AOL

#129 Aug 13, 2008
MV Employee wrote:
How did you get to read the search warrant and complaint??? Are you one of the arresting officers or a relative???
<quoted text>
After the search warrant was executed, I entered MY house and found that a copy was left on a chair.
another pittsburgh mother

Pittsburgh, PA

#130 Aug 13, 2008
Judas wrote:
It is NOT lawful to kick a minor child out of the house. You guys in Pittsburgh should have gone to the child welfare authorities if the person in question was under the age of 18. It's still child neglect.
It is child neglect, but you missed the "that anyone could prove" part. His story was that they kids left, it was his word against their word. They were 16 and 17,the only thing the authorities would have done is put them back in that house and that would have been worse.
pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA

#131 Aug 13, 2008
Mike Barrett wrote:
<quoted text>
After the search warrant was executed, I entered MY house and found that a copy was left on a chair.
You were the owner of the trailer part the girls were at, it was in the paper.
Judas

United States

#132 Aug 13, 2008
Wow, the police are pretty stupid, to leave a search warrant for somebody else's house on your chair. But I sort of believe it, since there's a Mike Barrett who lives at 365 Karen.
Judas

United States

#133 Aug 13, 2008
Oh, now I see why Mike Barrett is so eager to defend Ken Yaw; he is implicated in the crime. He, apparently, knowingly rented the house to Ken Yaw for the purpose of commission of the crime of child abuse and neglect, which makes him an accomplice.

I think if I were an accomplice in a crime I'd be getting a lawyer rather than trying to defend myself on topix. Unless this is where Susanna Martinez goes looking for people to charge with crimes.
Judas

United States

#134 Aug 13, 2008
Doctor's daughters tell of being confined to garage, mobile home
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
By Torsten Ove, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The children of a former Mercy Hospital surgeon, who were removed from his home in New Mexico last week after abuse allegations, are safe with relatives pending the outcome of the case against him and his wife.
That news provided some comfort yesterday for former neighbors in Fox Chapel and O'Hara who remember the 10 polite, happy children of the late Maureen Yaw, who died of cancer seven years ago.
Her husband, Dr. Kenneth Yaw, 54, and his second wife, Rita Starceski, 43, were charged on Thursday by police in Las Cruces, N.M., with abusing four of his five girls by confining them in the garage and forcing three of them to live alone in a run-down rented trailer for two months as punishment for stealing.
"I cannot believe what has happened to Maureen Farrell Yaw's beautiful babies," one family friend said by e-mail. "She literally gave her life to have them and keep them well and happy."
Maureen gave birth to her 10th child while battling the breast cancer that killed her on Sept. 30, 2001.
Friends who asked not to be identified uniformly described Maureen, an Ohio native and former nurse, as a loving Irish-Catholic mother whose well-behaved children would show up at the pool in matching orange T-shirts or occupy an entire pew during services at St. Joseph Parish in O'Hara in their coordinated outfits.
They were reserved and respectful, which seemed to match Dr. Yaw's personality.
"I am profoundly sad about how things turned out for the Yaw family," said one friend.
When Maureen died, Dr. Yaw described her in an obituary as an "angelic wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, confidant, soul mate and neighbor."
But then he married Ms. Starceski, and friends said he distanced himself from neighbors after that and eventually moved out of Fox Chapel.
An orthopedic surgeon specializing in pediatric cancer, he had worked at the Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and later at Mercy Hospital until November, when he took a job in Las Cruces and moved the family to a golf community there.
Four of the girls -- the 11-year-old, 13-year-old and 15-year-old twins -- made the move and were schooled at home.
It's not clear where all of the other children are, although two of the boys are in the military and the oldest girl, 27, is also on her own.
Judas

United States

#135 Aug 13, 2008
Police in New Mexico said they first had contact with the family in May, when Ms. Starceski and Dr. Yaw said the three oldest girls were stealing money from them. The girls were charged with larceny and assigned a probation officer.
As punishment for the theft, Dr. Yaw, an Air Force veteran, rented a trailer in a mobile home park and took the three girls there in early June to live alone for the next six weeks, according to an affidavit.
The girls told police they also been had confined in the attached garage of the $600,000 home, sometimes for three or four days and nights, with sleeping bags, bread, peanut butter and bottles of water. The confinement was punishment for various misbehavior, according to the complaint.
The 11-year-old said she was locked up for grabbing the dog by the collar and not using a leash, as was one of her sisters for sliding around on a tile floor with wet feet that she'd dunked in a bucket when she was supposed to be mopping.
During the confinement, the 11-year-old said, her father would come out three times a day to tell her it was time to use the bathroom.
Ms. Starceski, the girl said, never checked on her but was "fully aware that she was in the garage."
The girl also told police that she believed her punishment was "appropriate and that she deserves confinement."
The other girls told similar stories.
One of them said they had pilfered cash from their parents, hiding it next to the water tank, so they "wear clothes like the other kids wear" and enroll in public school.
In response, Dr. Yaw woke the three oldest girls at 2 a.m. one day in early June, told them to pack their things and drove them to the trailer park.
He escorted them to a dirty, unfurnished trailer, according to the complaint, and told them, "Welcome to your new home." He left them with a bag of pinto beans, bread, flour, a jar of peanut butter, a pot and some utensils, and a cell phone that would only dial his and Ms. Starceski's cell phones.
The girls said Dr. Yaw later brought them some flour, which they mixed with water to make flat bread.
After two weeks in the trailer, one of the girls apologized in a letter to her parents and her father picked her up and took her home.
The other two stayed in the trailer until Aug. 5. On that day, one of them said her father sent her to a military academy in Roswell, N.M. The other girl ran away, but Dr. Yaw picked her up and brought her home.
Both parents have been charged with seven counts of felony child abuse and are free on bond.
pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA

#136 Aug 13, 2008
The girl also told police that she believed her punishment was "appropriate and that she deserves confinement."

Now that is heartbreaking.
Saddened

Las Cruces, NM

#137 Aug 13, 2008
It is sad. However, studies have shown that children that have been abused still have a strong bond with their parents. They usually feel that having an abusive parent is better than having no parent at all. This is a really sick family.
pittsburgh wrote:
The girl also told police that she believed her punishment was "appropriate and that she deserves confinement."
Now that is heartbreaking.
local mom of four

Las Cruces, NM

#138 Aug 13, 2008
I truly hope that the children are all reunited and that Ken & Rita are delt with, not just fined. It is amazing to me that someone would say the girls were not treating Rita right, are you kidding?? It sounds like to me that the worst they did to her was take some money, for clothes. Yes stealing is wrong but for clothes not drugs, alcohol, or to run away but for clothes. When one of the girls attended school for that short time with my daughter she felt out of place because of what she was made to wear and from what I am told it was really bad, I could understand if they couldn't afford it but they could. That is just wrong, why would you want your child to get negative attention when they do not have to? The famous Dr Ken made a scene with the bus driver during that time too. Her bus stop was not directly in front of their house so he got on the bus and began yelling at the bus driver that he would stop in front of her house (obviously to control the daughter more, making sure to see her get on and off the bus probably to make sure she still wore those clothes). Sadly that became a bus stop just because of his anger about the situation. Even if Rita is the problem they are both to blame because he allowed and went along with all of this to his own children. I can't imagine losing my mother while I am a child and then having to deal with any stepmom, losing contact with my siblings, not to mention a father who treats them like this. It is so sad. Yes Mike the girls probably seemed ok to you at the mh but that is because they were away from the evil parents and thankfully had neigbors that helped them. How lucky is that? They could have had some freaks that lived there that could have sexually abused these girls or kidnapped them and taken them to Mexico. What kind of father would put his girls at that kind of risk??
anom

Natrona Heights, PA

#139 Aug 13, 2008
I know someone who used to date Rita Starceski a few years ago and dumped her because he thought she was a very strange person, who had deep rooted emotional issues.

What happened to those children is a shame and they will be scarred for life. The headlines make no mention of Rita's children Nicholas and Max or the youngest Yaw child, Bridget. Hopefully they have excaped such torture and neglect.
wendy

Saxonburg, PA

#140 Aug 13, 2008
Susan wrote:
<quoted text>
There are many people here whose kids are sleeping in the garage, even garages converted to bedrooms and spare rooms. Shall we have all those kids removed from their homes and parents thrown in jail?
Extreme heat? There are many people in this region who choose to use no airconditioners. Is that really abuse? People only recently in the last one or two generations consider air conditioners to be necessary to live, for thousands of years, people have lived without air conditioners.
So far all I've seen is that the kids sometimes stayed in a mobile home, they were given peanut butter sandwiches. How about innocent until proven guilty? Next we'll hear the kids weren't given every X-box game that has been made.
You are a full blown Idiot!!!!
Anonymous Ortho MD

New York, NY

#141 Aug 13, 2008
Dr. Yaw was a tremendous influence and great teacher to so many orthopedic residents in his time in Pittsburgh. The man we knew is not this man and hope his Pittsburgh friends and family can help turn his life back around.
anonymous

Glenshaw, PA

#142 Aug 13, 2008
Ken Yaw was the epitome of a loving, caring husband
and father to his 10 kids. He and Maureen had a magical kind of family, full of love, where things ran smoothly, the kids were excellent students, athletes, and all=round great kids. When Maureen died, something snapped in Ken. He went over the edge. This is not the man we knew from Scouting and
soccer games in our community. My heart aches for him and the kids.
Average Pittsburgher

Pittsburgh, PA

#143 Aug 13, 2008
I've been reading about how many affluent Pittsburgher's want to help. Since it might not be possible for you to physically take any of these children into your households, I want to offer that it would be a good idea to set up college funds for all of the children---including the ones who are already adults. You have the heart and the money---put both into real action. Give these children the finances to educate themselves in a manner that will allow them to rebuild their lives to the status they deserve.
pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA

#144 Aug 14, 2008
Average Pittsburgher wrote:
I've been reading about how many affluent Pittsburgher's want to help. Since it might not be possible for you to physically take any of these children into your households, I want to offer that it would be a good idea to set up college funds for all of the children---including the ones who are already adults. You have the heart and the money---put both into real action. Give these children the finances to educate themselves in a manner that will allow them to rebuild their lives to the status they deserve.
That is a wonderful idea and one that some of the older siblings friends are looking into. they are going to contact one of the local banks to see if they can set up a fund that friends can donate money for the care and living expenses of all of the children to be used for clothing, housing, college and general living expenses. They will contact the local paper so that they can add this information to any article that they might write to get the word out. I don't know about the affluent part, many of the people in the area are not necessarily from "Fox Chapel" but this family touched so many lives that I am sure that this community will open up their hearts and wallets and give whatever they can.

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