A voice for abused, murdered, or missing children.. Will you help?

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“JUSTICE DENIED, AGAIN!!!”

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#419
Aug 28, 2012
 
Chief Wiggums wrote:
I wish a grass roots spontaniety across the country would start up and demand higher bonds, and sentences for these pieces of garbage.
Many prosecutors and judges put a lessor value on the life of a baby or child and the abuser or murderer gets a lighter sentence that if the victim were an adult.

IMO the sentence should be harsher, not more lenient.

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#420
Aug 29, 2012
 
BELLEVILLE, Ill.(AP)- A southwestern Illinois man convicted of fatally beating his live-in girlfriend's 6-year-old son on Christmas Eve 2005 has been sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

Before the sentence was handed down Monday, 39-year-old Lee Crutchfield vowed to keep fighting to prove his innocence.

Crutchfield spent nearly six years in custody before being convicted in December of first-degree murder in the death of Ryon Smith.

Smith's body was found on the bedroom floor of the home Crutchfield shared with the boy's mother. Authorities say the child had been repeatedly beaten and that he died of blunt trauma to the head and torso.

Crutchfield argued the boy died after an epileptic seizure.

Prosecutors said Crutchfield tortured Ryon, locked him in a closet for days and beat him, leaving bruises.

http://www.ksdk.com/news/local/story.aspx...

“JUSTICE DENIED, AGAIN!!!”

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#421
Sep 2, 2012
 
Jury finds Akron mother, Heather Lerch, guilty of murder in meth death of toddler son
Lerch will face 15 years to life in prison

Posted: 08/27/2012
Last Updated: 18 hours and 41 minutes ago
By: Bob Jones, newsnet5.com

AKRON, Ohio - A Summit County jury found an Akron mother guilty in connection with the death of her 17-month-old son who overdosed on meth inside a Goodyear Heights home.

Heather Lerch, 21, was found guilty of murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangering. She was found not guilty on various drug charges.

She will be sentenced Sept. 25 at 9 a.m. before Judge Tom Parker. Prosecutors said she will face 15 years to life in prison.

"Her life is over and her child's life is over and no winners in this situation," Assistant Prosecutor Greg Peacock said.

The Summit County Medical Examiner said Patrick Lerch died from ingesting a high amount of meth. In a statement, the medical examiner said the boy “ingested meth during a period of abuse and neglect.”

Last February, police said they found bottles and chemicals, used for meth-making, in the basement of a St. Leger home, where Lerch's boyfriend, Randy Legg, lived.

Prosecutors said Lerch put the child in grave danger by allowing him to live in a home where meth was being manufactured.

"It was rat-infested. It was a filthy, cold basement where a drug addict and a meth cook were just hanging out," Peacock said.

Two of the jurors cried as the verdicts were read. Lerch sobbed throughout the proceedings.

"Whether she's sorry for what happened to her or sorry for what happened to Patrick, I can't make a distinction between the two," said Detective Gary Shadie, who investigated the crime.

Other people are facing charges in connection with the toddler's death.

Ronald Legg, 22, is charged with murder is and scheduled to stand trial on September 24.

Randy Legg, 19, is scheduled to go on trial October 4 for involuntary manslaughter, child endangering and several drug charges.

Allen Kostra, 25, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and other charges and testified against Lerch.

The defense argued that Lerch made bad decisions, but that doesn’t make her responsible for the death of the child.

Kimberly and Daniel Clark are distant relatives of Lerch and allowed her to stay in their Barberton home with Patrick.

They lived there for three months before moving to the Akron home, Kimberly said.

Kimberly said Lerch wasn’t a good mother but didn’t suspect she was involved in meth.

During an interview with NewsChannel5 last February, Kimberly said,“I’m just devastated. He was the sweetest baby you’d ever want to meet. I want her to get the full punishment of the law,” Kimberly said.

Kimberly called Barberton police in January after she noticed Patrick had a black eye.

A Barberton officer filed a call for service report and noted he did not see any obvious signs of abuse.

Lerch told the officer that Patrick was hurt from falling on a toy.

http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/a...

“Concerning children”

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#428
Oct 17, 2012
 
Home Man arrested in PW infant's death: Injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome, Colorado

http://www.chieftain.com/man-arreste...9bb296...

A 23-year-old Pueblo man was arrested Monday night on a warrant for first-degree murder for the death of a 2-month-old girl.

Bill Anthony Martinez was arrested in Colorado Springs, according to Charlene Graham, chief of law enforcement for the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office.

The baby has been hospitalized at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs since Saturday.

The child was taken off life support Monday and an autopsy is scheduled for today, according to Pueblo County Coroner James Kramer.

Graham said the baby had injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome, including bruising and a head injury

“Concerning children”

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#429
Oct 17, 2012
 
Police: Dad faces charges after 2-month-old left in sink, burned by hot water, Fla
http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/...left-s...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—

Daytona Beach police said a 2-month-old baby is in critical condition with burns to more than half his body because his father left him in a sink with hot water running.

Police said James Arnold told them he was giving his son a bath when he left him to check on another child.

But investigators said about 36 hours passed before the infant got medical attention, and then a doctor found two other fractures that were healing.

Arnold faces felony child neglect charges.
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#435
Dec 12, 2012
 
ad gets life after killing 2-year old son and burying body in cement
Roger Anthony Williams

October 14, 2012
By: Richard Webster

A South Carolina father, Roger Anthony Williams, abused and beat his 2-year old son to death and tried to hide the baby boy’s body by placing it into a trashcan filled with cement. It took a jury only 33 minutes on Thursday to find Williams guilty of homicide by child abuse.

Circuit Judge R. Markley Dennis sentenced Williams to life in prison.

According to GoUpstate, at the time of the toddler’s death in June, 2012, Williams’ girlfriend Grace Trotman originally informed authorities that the child was lost after falling into the ocean at the Charleston Battery. Trotman eventually confessed and led police to the child’s remains in Orangeburg County, which is located in central South Carolina.

Williams blamed his son’s death on the girlfriend.

“Williams admitted to putting his son into a barrel after he died in June 2010, filling it with concrete and taking it from Summerville to Orangeburg County.

The former girlfriend was the primary witness against the father who stated in court that Williams often hit his son Rodricus, and that Williams “showed no emotion when a blow to the head led to the boy's death.”

“She said Williams wiped his son with peroxide to get rid of fingerprints, wrapped the body in trash bags and tapes and dropped the boy headfirst into a trash can he filled with concrete. The couple rented a truck and dumped the trash can in Bowman …

Grace Trotman pleaded guilty for her part in the child’s death and received a plea deal with the prosecutors in exchange for her testimony against Williams. As part that plea deal, Trotman will be sentenced at a later date.

http://www.examiner.com/article/dad-gets-life...
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#436
Dec 12, 2012
 
Grace Trotman sentenced for role in Rodricus Williams death

By: Count On 2 Staff
Published: December 11, 2012
Updated: December 11, 2012 - 11:48 AM

In February, Trotman admitted to helping her ex-boyfriend, Roger Williams, dispose of his son's body in 2010.

Trotman and her former boyfriend, Roger Williams, made up a story about the Rodricus Williams being lost at the Charleston Battery in 2010 until Grace Trotman told investigators he was dead and led them to his body.

Trotman testified against her former boyfriend Roger Williams. Williams was sentence to life without parole in October.

The judge took into account Trotman's rough childhood where she was abused, molested and in and out of foster care. Experts testified about her violent relationship with Roger Williams, who was Rodricus' father.

Trotman was sentenced to 15 years for homicide by child abuse and 10 years for desecration of remains. The sentences will run concurrently.

Family on both sides of the courtroom cried during the sentencing, including Grace who broke down during her final remarks. Following sentencing, Rodricus' mother said she learned a lot she never knew about Grace Trotman.

http://www2.counton2.com/news/2012/dec/11/11/...

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#437
Dec 13, 2012
 
Mother's Boyfriend Accused Of Fracturing Baby's Skull, Ohio
http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/...bys-sk...

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Columbus Police arrested and charged a man for allegedly causing severe injuries to a 19-month-old baby.

Police said Kevin A. Greene Jr., 21, turned himself in to police Wednesday on outstanding warrants.

Police said Greene gave detectives information that implemented him in the child abuse case. Greene is the boyfriend of the child's mother.

The baby was discovered at a residence in the 1600 block of North High Street on November 10 after someone placed a 911 call.

Court documents indicated that Greene allegedly struck the baby's head with his hand, fracturing the 19-month-old's skull.

The force of the strike affected the baby's vision and caused the baby to have seizures.

Detectives said that they believed the baby would suffer from a "long term disability."

Police said the child was treated at Nationwide Children's Hospital for bleeding on his brain, an acute skull fracture and bruising on his face.

The baby's current condition was not released. Green faces felonious assault and child endangering charges.

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#438
Dec 13, 2012
 
Texas man accused of carving pentagram into son
http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/...ed-on-...

RICHLAND HILLS, Texas (AP)— A North Texas man is accused of carving a pentagram on his 6-year-old son's back, telling a 911 dispatcher that he did it because "it's a holy day."

Richland Hills police say Brent Troy Bartel faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He's jailed in lieu of $500,000 bond.

Sgt. Nathan Stringer says Bartel called 911 early Wednesday morning and said he'd shed innocent blood. Wednesday's date is 12-12-12, a once-in-a-century event.

Officers in the Fort Worth suburb say they arrived and found that most of the child's back was covered with a large pentagram. Richland Hills police also recovered a box cutter they believe was the weapon used to cut the boy.

The child was taken to a hospital. His condition was not immediately released.

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#439
Dec 13, 2012
 
Utah dad arrested after police say he left injured kids in car after crash
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/12/13...r-afte...

A Utah man was arrested after he allegedly drove drunk, rear-ended another vehicle, then ran from the scene, leaving his two injured children behind, Fox13Now.com reported.

Police said David Michael Stoltenberg, 27, was driving drunk when he rear-ended a vehicle in Salt Lake City Tuesday night, damaging his car and injuring his children.

Stoltenberg allegedly ran from the scene of the crash and left his two children, a 9-year-old and 2-year-old, injured and alone in the vehicle.

Police arrived at the scene and made sure the kids were OK. They contacted Stoltenberg and encouraged him to return to the scene of the crash.

When Stoltenberg returned, police say he failed a field sobriety test and measured a blood alcohol content of .302, which is roughly four times the legal limit of .08.

Stoltenberg had been arrested for a DUI back in 2006 and was driving on a suspended license, the station reported.

The two children were transported to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries. They’re now staying with an aunt and a grandmother.

Stoltenberg faces multiple charges, including DUI, hit and run and child endangerment.

“JUSTICE DENIED, AGAIN!!!”

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#443
Dec 20, 2012
 
Teen gets at least 18 months for killing newborn

Published 9:49 AM EST Dec 20, 2012

LAKELAND, Fla.—A 15-year-old central Florida girl accused of secretly giving birth to a son and then strangling him will spend at least 18 months in a state facility.

Cassidy Goodson

As part of a deal with Polk County prosecutors, Cassidy Goodson pleaded no contest Wednesday to manslaughter. She had previously been charged as an adult with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse.

The Ledger reports that Goodson was arrested in September after deputies say she gave birth to a 9.5-pound boy and then strangled him.

Detectives say the girl hid her pregnancy from her family and gave birth at her home on Sept. 19. She told detectives she choked the baby and put him in a shoebox.

The girl's mother found the baby in the box, hidden in some laundry.

Read more: http://www.wesh.com/news/central-florida/Teen...

“JUSTICE DENIED, AGAIN!!!”

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#444
Dec 20, 2012
 
Lynwood man charged with death of 8-month-old son

7:09 a.m. CST, December 19, 2012

LYNWOOD, Ill.— A father in south suburban Lynwood has been charged with the death of his 8-month-old son.

Murder charges were filed last night against Enoch Hayslett.

He also faces battery charges for injuring two other children.

The family originally said 8-month-old Lamar Hayslett accidentally drowned last Wednesday.

An investigation revealed the baby suffered skull fractures.

His twin brother also had skull fractures , and is being treated for the injuries.

Their mother has not been charged.

Haslett is due in court later Wednesday.

DCFS has removed all of the children from the family's home.

http://www.wgntv.com/news/wgntv-lynwood-man-c...

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#445
Dec 20, 2012
 
Dead Baby Found In Dumpster: Lombard Mall Scene Of Police's Heartbreaking Discovery

Posted: 12/18/2012 3:22 pm EST |
Updated: 12/18/2012 4:15 pm EST

An investigation has been launched into the grim discovery of a baby found dead in the dumpster of a suburban Chicago mall on Saturday.

Police were called by a doctor treating the baby's mother, according to WGN, after she visited the hospital with complications stemming from the baby's delivery. The doctor called police after the girl reportedly revealed she had left the baby in a dumpster at the Yorktown Center Mall in Lombard, Ill.

Glendale Heights police say the mother is a teen girl who delivered the baby in a suburban home on Thursday, according to ABC Chicago, though reports suggest she did not live there. The DuPage County State's Attorney's Office has yet to confirm the police's report, according to Elmhurst Patch.

A day after giving birth, the mother reportedly "put the baby in a bag, and left it in the trunk until she threw it in a dumpster at the mall," according to WGN.

Glendale Heights police are handling the investigation, reports the Sun-Times, and results from the autopsy on the baby are pending, according to Patch.

No charges have been filed yet against the mother and it is unclear whether she is still hospitalized.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/18/dead...

“JUSTICE DENIED, AGAIN!!!”

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#446
Dec 20, 2012
 
Father sought in toddler's death in Chesapeake
Posted to: Chesapeake Crime News

By Veronica Gonzalez, The Virginian-Pilot
December 14, 2012

CHESAPEAKE - Police are looking for the 35-year-old father of a 16-month-old girl whose death this summer in South Norfolk was determined to be a homicide.

Floyd W. Logan IV, of the 2200 block of Jefferson Ave. in Newport News, was indicted Dec. 4 on charges of first-degree murder and child abuse, according to online court records.

His daughter, Waaliyah Brown, was pronounced dead Aug. 15 after police responded around 4 p.m. to the 800 block of Park Row. They had received a call of an unresponsive girl at her mother's house, according to a news release and police spokeswoman Kelly O'Sullivan.

Waaliyah was taken to Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. Police have been investigating her death for several months, and there have been multiple medical examinations to determine how she died, the release said.

O'Sullivan said the girl died of blunt-force trauma.

Neighbors said Thursday the house where the girl died has been empty for months, and a sign on the door indicated it is in foreclosure.

http://hamptonroads.com/2012/12/father-sought...
Stephanie

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#447
Jan 3, 2013
 
My brother would have never done such a thing! That witch killed my nephew and blamed it on my brother! I hate that my brothers name is being thrown one he ground and crapped on!! He doesn't deserve it especially being falsely accused!

“JUSTICE DENIED, AGAIN!!!”

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#448
Jan 6, 2013
 
Pinellas elementary teacher arrested on child porn charges

Elementary teacher arrested for possessing child porn

A Pinellas County Elementary teacher is
under arrested for the possession of child pornography. This started out
as an online investigation, but now the teacher is under investigation
for sexual misconduct.

January 05, 2013 - 9:56 AM

A teacher at a Pinellas Park elementary school was arrested
today on child pornography charges, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
said.

John M. Kaneski, 42, 2164 Edythe Drive, Dunedin, was arrested on 10
counts of possession of sexual performance by a child. Additional
charges are possible, deputies said.

The arrest of Kaneski, who teaches English as a second language at
Cross Bayou Elementary School, results from an undercover Internet
investigation into child pornography. The investigation began Nov. 19.

Detectives assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit identified
Kaneski as a suspect, then obtained and served a search warrant at his
home, where he lives with his wife and two children..

Kaneski’s home computer was found to contain multiple images and
videos of children performing sexual acts, and detectives said Kaneski
admitted to downloading it.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said at this point there's no proof Kaneski
produced any of the child porn, but he finds the case highly troubling
because the teacher had access to hundreds of students during his time
in the classroom.

“This is absolutely atrocious,” Gualtieri said.“This is a great
threat to public safety. It's a great threat to our kids. It's a great
threat to our society and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office is going
to do everything it can and we're not going to tolerate this.”

In 2005, Kaneski worked at Curlew Creek Elementary when an 8-year-old
student accused him of sexually assaulting her, News Channel 8 is
reporting. The girl later changed her story and Kaneski was never
charged.

The sheriff said today, however, that they’ve learned of another
allegation of abuse coming from another child against Kaneski, and
they're investigating her claims.

Kaneski is at the Pinellas County Jail, where he is being held on $100,000 bail, according to jail records.

http://www2.tbo.com/news/education-news/2013/...

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#453
Jan 12, 2013
 
Human remains found in missing Florida boy's backyard
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/11...-fla-b...

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla.– Investigators found human remains Friday in the former backyard of a South Florida couple whose baby hasn't been seen in more than a year.

Calvin Melvin and Britney Sierra were arrested Friday on neglect charges after a child-welfare worker acting on a tip from an abuse hotline went to their new home and found only two of their three known children.

Police said Dontrelle Melvin was 5 months old when he was last seen more than a year ago and his father has given detectives conflicting statements on where he is.

The state Department of Children and Families said Calvin Melvin and Sierra aren't married and have an on-and-off relationship. Melvin is the father of Dontrelle and one of Sierra's other children, but not the third.

The agency been involved with the family several times over the past few years, but officials declined to give details. The other two children, whose ages weren't known, were taken in DCF care this week.

Police say Melvin, 27, told them early this week that Dontrelle was living with his parents nearby but when investigators went to the parents' home, they said that was untrue. When investigators went back to Melvin's home, he had disappeared. He went to the police station Thursday to be interviewed and was later arrested. Police said he has changed his story several times, including that the baby was in New Jersey with relatives. Later he said he dropped the child off at a fire station.

Adding to the confusion, detectives said Sierra called police last October and complained she hadn't seen Dontrelle in a year and that Melvin wouldn't tell her where the child was. A police officer then called DCF, but police did not launch their own investigation. No reason has been given.

DCF officials said they did not follow up on the call because there was no allegation by the mom of abuse or neglect. The agency does not investigate custody disputes. The agency said "missing child" cases and potential criminal cases remain under the investigative authority of local law enforcement.

"This is an awful and senseless tragedy. We are working very closely with law enforcement to provide information. The investigation continues," DCF spokesman Joe Follick said.

At the couple's former home Friday, neighbors gathered while detectives and two cadaver dogs worked in the backyard. They focused on one corner as authorities used chainsaws to clear out overgrown brush.

Mahmud Lama, who moved into the small green house with a chain link fence about six months ago, said his Labrador retriever used to spend hours digging in the spot where authorities were digging. He later saw detectives remove a wooden box from the yard and officials carried away the remains on a stretcher.

Neighbors said the couple, who moved just a few blocks away, always argued.

"They fuss and fight all the time," said 46-year-old Sharette Brown, who currently lives next door to Melvin.

She said she's never seen the baby.

Rosetta Braham, who also lives next door, said she was shopping with Melvin's grandmother in August when she abruptly brought up the baby.

"She said she had a dream, a guilty feeling that something bad happened to the baby," Braham said.

At one point, Calvin Melvin told neighbors the baby was in New Jersey with relatives, but Brown and Braham said the couple kept changing their stories.

Neighbors gathered at the scene Friday collapsed in sobs when authorities said human remains had been found.

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#454
Jan 12, 2013
 
Parents of toddler who died after sleeping in overheated room indicted
http://www.wcpo.com/dpp/news/local_n...-room-...

MANCHESTER, Ohio - The parents of an 18-month-old child who died while sleeping in an overheated room last month were indicted in an Adams County courtroom Friday.

Jesika Case, 26, and Jeremy Cox, 26, were both indicted on charges of endangering children, involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide by a grand jury.

On Wednesday Dec. 12, police responded to the 500 block of East Fifth Street in Manchester, Ohio for a report of an unresponsive child.

Authorities said Case used a space heater in a room for her daughter, Jailynn Cox, on the night of Dec. 11, and the following morning, the room was more than 100 degrees.

When Case checked on her daughter at approximately noon on Dec. 12, she was unresponsive. A neighbor called 911 and a mail carrier tried to resuscitate the girl until medics arrived, according to police.

"Temperatures in the room were anywhere from 90 to 130 degrees in certain spots," said Chief Jeff Bowling of the Manchester Police Department after the incident.

The arraignment date for Case and Cox has not been scheduled at this time.

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#455
Jan 16, 2013
 
Montco D.A. seeks death penalty for alleged baby killer

Posted: Tuesday, 01/15/13 04:01 pm
Updated: Tuesday, 01/15/13 11:03 pm

NORRISTOWN — Prosecutors have decided to seek the death penalty against the Upper Merion man who allegedly kidnapped and killed his neighbor’s 10-month-old daughter in a desperate attempt to get ransom money.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman filed the paperwork Tuesday morning in the case of Raghunandan Yandamuri before Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neill.

Yandamuri is accused in the October murders of 10-month-old Saanvi Venna and her grandmother, 61-year-old Satyavathi Venna.

Prosecutors allege Yandamuri went to the victims’ house with the intention of kidnapping the little girl and holding her for ransom. He told investigators he panicked after the grandmother opened the door Oct. 22 and a struggle ensued, according to court records.

“We only seek the death penalty in limited cases, reserving it for the worst of the worst,” First Assistant District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said.“In this case, we carefully evaluated the evidence before deciding to file the notice of our intention to seek the death penalty. In the two murders of Saanvi and Satyavathi, there is evidence of a number of aggravating factors including murder, while the victim was being held for ransom, killing in perpetration of a felony, multiple murders, murder of a child under (age) 12 and murder of a witness.”

Yandamuri, 26, was arrested and charged on Oct. 26, 2012, and appeared for a preliminary hearing before District Justice James Gallagher in Bridgeport. During that hearing, a 23-minute videotaped confession was played in court, showing Yandamuri re-enacting the events of that day, wherein he claims he accidentally slit Satyavathi Venna’s throat with a butcher knife.

“I know this is not a small mistake. I had a good job, a good life. I really feel sorry for what I did,” Yandamuri can be heard saying on the tape. He reportedly knew the victims’ family as neighbors in the Marquis Apartments on West Dekalb Pike in King of Prussia. Like him, the mother and father of Saanvi were young technology professionals from India.

http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130115/NEW...

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#456
Feb 21, 2013
 
Skull belonged to disabled North Carolina girl, prosecutor says

Zahra Baker had been an international symbol of strength and hope: A freckle-faced girl who lost part of her left leg at age 5 and her hearing while being treated for cancer, she kept smiling and fighting through it all.

Yet Zahra's life ended violently in fall 2010. That's when her stepmother, Elisa Baker, told police in Hickory, North Carolina, that the girl, then 10, was killed and dismembered, according to search warrants. The youngster's body parts were then disposed of in various locations, the stepmother told police.
Elisa Baker pleaded guilty in 2011 to killing her stepdaughter.
Elisa Baker pleaded guilty in 2011 to killing her stepdaughter.

While police found some of Zahra's remains in the weeks after she was reported missing, some parts hadn't been accounted for. But authorities took a major step forward on this count Thursday, with the confirmation that a skull found in April 2012 in Caldwell County, North Carolina, belonged to the girl.

2010: North Carolina community remembers Zahra Baker

"The life and death of Zahra Baker profoundly impacted those who came to know this brave young lady through her tragic story," said District Attorney James Gaither Jr., whose district includes the section of central North Carolina where the crime occurred and whose office confirmed the finding about Zahra's skull.
Elisa Baker pleads guilty to murder

"Zahra and her life will be forever in our thoughts, and 'Team Zahra' will forever be connected through her spirit."

Members of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the North Carolina Medical Examiner's Office and the Marshall University Forensic Science Center in Huntington, West Virginia, analyzed the skull and told Gaither's office it belonged to Zahra. But the analysis did not establish the cause of the girl's death.

Police began looking for Zahra on October 9, 2010, after her stepmother reported her missing and authorities found a ransom note that was later determined to be fake. At the time, authorities said that no one other than a relative had seen the girl since September 25.

Elisa Baker was arrested the next day on several charges unrelated to Zahra's disappearance, including writing worthless checks.

2011: Stepmother charged with murder

Meanwhile, the search for the young girl grabbed national and international headlines given her story, her age and the fact both of her biological parents are from Australia.

A prosthetic leg thought to belong to the missing girl was found in a brushy area off a North Carolina road in late October 2010. Some of her other remains were found November 11 of that year.

Zahra's stepmother eventually told police the girl had been killed two weeks before she was reported missing.

In September 2011, she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder with aggravating factors and was sentenced to 18 years in state prison, according to the district attorney's office.

According to an indictment, Elisa Baker "desecrated the victim's body to hinder detection, investigation and prosecution of the offense."

She is now in federal custody awaiting sentencing on drug conspiracy charges after pleading guilty in January 2012 to one count of conspiracy to sell drugs.

2011: Search warrants provide grisly details in Zahra Baker's death

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