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Women who were arrested in child abuse case were scheduled to be married

Date: 2014-03-21

Salinas: One of two women arrested is former correctional officer

By JULIA REYNOLDS

One of two women accused of starving, chaining and abusing three children in Monterey County is a former correctional officer, while the other was a businesswoman and counselor at clinics in California and New Mexico, according to their online professional profiles and court filings.

Sheriff's deputies rescued three children from the couple's residence on Russell Road north of Salinas on March 14, citing horrific conditions and an "emaciated" 8-year-old girl who looked like "a concentration camp" victim, said Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller.

Also taken from the home were two boys, ages 3 and 5.

Miller said Eraca Dawn Craig, 31, and Christian Jessica Deanda, 44, are accused of felony child cruelty, false imprisonment and other charges.

Deputies conducted a welfare check at the house after the children didn't show up for an unspecified appointment, detectives said.

They found the children, who were home-schooled, living in squalid conditions and "fairly dire straits," Miller said.

Re-homing victim: ‘I could have been dead’

Date: 2014-03-21

Re-homing victim: ‘I could have been dead’

Since she was adopted and brought to America at age 13, Nita Dittenber was passed from family to family through an underground market for adopted kids. The practice, called "private re-homing," was uncovered last year by a Reuters Investigation

It was the first of several times Michelle offered Nita on the Yahoo group. In her posts, Michelle portrayed Nita as a “bully” with an “attitude of entitlement.” The girl “lies” and is “manipulative,” she wrote, but “does love little kids very much” and has “a soft spot for elderly people as well.”

Each time they transferred custody of Nita, the Dittenbers used a notarized power of attorney document stating that Nita was now in the care of the new family, Tony says. No social workers or attorneys were involved, he says, and there was no official vetting of the parents taking in Nita.

Two Salinas women arrested in severe child neglect case

Date: 2014-03-21

SALINAS, Calif. —One of the worst cases he's encountered in more than 30 years of law enforcement. That's how Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller described a case of child abuse and neglect in Salinas on Friday.

An 8-year-old-girl and two boys, ages 5 and 3, were removed from a house on Russell Road by deputies. Miller said the house's conditions were deplorable and the children were so malnourished, "They looked like they had come out of a concentration camp."

"One of them had been chained to the floor to keep her from obtaining food," Deputy E. Schumacher said.

Miller said the girl may have been shackled at the neck and feet.

Eraca Dawn Craig, 31, and Christian Jessica Deanda, 44, were arrested on child abuse charges March 15.

Miller said the two women are domestic partners. One of the two arrested women was the 3-year-old boy's biological mother. The girl and 8-year-old boy were adopted.

The girl was hospitalized for a week. All three kids exhibited signs of physical and emotional abuse, and officials put them in foster care.

Children found starving, chained and abused in Monterey County home

Date: 2014-03-21

By Julia Reynolds

SALINAS -- Three children were rescued from a Monterey County home last week after deputies discovered that two women -- one a former correctional officer -- had starved, chained and abused the children, officials said Friday.

Sheriff's deputies rescued the children from the couples' residence on Russell Road near Salinas on March 14, citing horrific conditions and an 8-year-old girl who looked "like a concentration camp victim," said Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller.

Also in the home were two boys, ages 3 and 5.

Miller said Eraca Dawn Craig, 31, and Christian Jessica Deanda, 44, are accused of felony child cruelty, false imprisonment and other charges.

Deputies conducted a welfare check at the house after the children didn't show up for an unspecified appointment, detectives said.

They found the children, who were home-schooled, living in squalid conditions and "fairly dire straits," Miller said.

The girl appeared to have been the most abused, deputies said, though all three had bruises and other marks and appeared to be malnourished.

Girl spent months harboring secret, fearing she would be sent away again

Date: 2014-03-21

Girl spent months harboring secret, fearing she would be sent away again
By Megan Twohey
Filed March 21, 2014

Authorities say an Ohio mother used ‘re-homing’ to keep allegations of sexual abuse from coming to light

MARYSVILLE, Ohio - On an Internet forum where parents sought takers for adopted children they no longer wanted, a teenager from Haiti was offered more frequently than any other girl.

Starting at age 14, Nita Dittenber was passed among four families over two years through a practice called “private re-homing.”

In September, Reuters exposed an underground market in which desperate parents use online bulletin boards to offer adoptees to strangers, often illegally and with no government oversight. The Internet forums, including the Yahoo group where Nita was advertised, can enable abusers to acquire children easily; in one case, a pedophile in Illinois took home a 10-year-old boy hours after an ad for the child was posted online.

Why One Mother Gave Back Her Adopted Son

Date: 2014-03-20

Why One Mother Gave Back Her Adopted Son
By Good Housekeeping | Parenting – Thu, Mar 20, 2014 12:38 PM EDT

A difficult decision was the right choice for Stacey Conner's family.

Stacey Conner, a 41-year-old mom and former attorney from Spokane, Wash., dreamed of having a large family with biological and adopted kids. "The world is a big place with a lot of children in it; we wanted to bring some of those into our family, to give our love to kids without it," she says. After she volunteered in an orphanage in poverty-torn Haiti in 2005, Conner and her husband, Matt, a pharmacist, decided to adopt two children. But the process was so slow that by October 2006, when they brought home their (unrelated) 5-year-old Haitian son and 1-year-old Haitian daughter, Conner had given birth to a son, who was 1. "Having an instant multicultural family was magical," Conner says, "for about two weeks."

Supreme Court rejects ex-York County man's appeal in adopted Russian son's death

Date: 2014-03-13

Supreme Court rejects ex-York County man's appeal in adopted Russian son's death
By Matt Miller | mmiller@pennlive.com
on March 13, 2014 at 12:48 PM

The state Supreme Court has refused to hear a former York County man's appeal of his involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy and child endangerment convictions in the death of his adopted Russian son.

The state's highest court issued that decision Wednesday, effectively ending 49-year-old Michael J. Craver's legal effort to clear his name in the August 2009 death of his 7-year-old son Nathaniel.

Craver's wife, Nanette, 58, was convicted on identical charges by a York County jury during the couple's trial in 2011. The jury acquitted the former Carroll Township couple of murder charges.

Both Cravers, who now live in Carbon County, were sentenced to 16 months to 4 years in prison, plus 5 years of probation. A county judge ordered their release from prison when he sentenced them in November 2011 because they had already spent 19 months behind bars.

Abuse Allegation in Wanda Sue Larson's Past

Date: 2014-03-11

by Morgan Fogarty

MONROE, N.C. - WCCB has obtained a document from the state of Alaska that indicates a patient filed a complaint of abuse against Wanda Sue Erdmann, aka Wanda Sue Larson, in 1989. The document is heavily redacted. It does reveal that Larson was interviewed by medical board investigators April 26, 1990.
It reads that it was her idea to voluntarily surrender her nursing license.

Larson resigned a few days later and signed a document acknowledging there was an active investigation underway. Larson did not seek legal advice.

WCCB also obtained a copy of a disciplinary report form from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. In the section titled "misconduct" the "other" box is checked with further detail that reads "was under investigation and Ms. Edrmann surrendered her license rather than see investigation continued."

State Finds Major Problems In Union County Child Welfare Program

Date: 2014-03-06

By Tasnim Shamma

A state review of the Union County Department of Human Services has found numerous failures in the agency's operations over the last three years.

Union County asked the state to conduct the review after a child protective services supervisor was charged with child abuse in November after an eleven-year-old boy she was caring for was found handcuffed to a porch.

Dorian Lee Harper and Wanda Sue Larson were indicted on child abuse charges in December. Larson was fired from her job as a child protective services supervisor.

Though the case of Wanda Sue Larson spurred the review, the report found problems that went beyond her role at DSS.

And what the state found was a broken system. The report primarily blames a lack of leadership. Richard Matens who became executive director of Union County's DHS in June says the problems go back five years.

"Having three permanent directors and two times when we had interim directors within these programs created a great deal of instability within these programs and so a lot of times, things weren't followed through," Matens says.

Adoptive father accused of brutal murder of Korean child

Date: 2014-02-21

Adoptive father accused of brutal murder of Korean child
Posted on : Feb.21,2014 11:34 KSTModified on : Feb.21,2014 11:37 KST

Military veteran denying charge of first-degree murder in suspicious death of 3-year-old boy
By Jeon Jeong-yun, staff reporter

Hyun-su was born premature in 2010 at only 2.1kg. He was abandoned by his mother and adopted by an American family in Oct. 2013 under the new name, ‘Madoc Hyun-su O’Callaghan’. This 3-year-old toddler then died on Feb 3, only three months after he was adopted. A skull fracture is currently being pointed to as the cause of his death. His adoptive father, Brian Patrick O’Callaghan, 36, is a National Security Agency worker who specializes in Korea, and is facing charges of first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in the death of his adopted son.

Montgomery County man is charged with killing his 3-year-old adopted son

Date: 2014-02-18

Montgomery County man is charged with killing his 3-year-old adopted son

By Dan Morse and Dana Hedgpeth, Published: February 18 E-mail the writers

Brian O’Callaghan fought in Iraq, mastered Arabic and became a division chief at the National Security Agency. Last year, wanting a second child for their young family, he and his wife adopted a 3-year-old boy from South Korea.

“He was so loving of him,” a family member said.

It is a background that made allegations revealed in Montgomery County District Court on Tuesday seem all the more stunning: Alone with the boy — with his wife out of town, his other son in a different part of the house — O’Callaghan repeatedly struck the child, hitting him so hard that the boy died two days later.

“An absolutely horrific crime on an absolutely innocent young victim,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Donna Fenton, listing injuries to the boy’s head, neck and back. “Basically this child was beaten to death from head to toe.”

Brian Patrick O' Callaghan charged with murdering 3 year old son

Date: 2014-02-18

Brian Patrick O' Callaghan charged with murdering 3 year old son
By Brad Bell February 18, 2014 - 09:27 am

DAMASCUS, Md. (AP) - Montgomery County police say a Damascus man has been charged in the death of his 3-year-old son.

Police announced Tuesday that 36-year-old Brian O'Callaghan, an NSA analyst and former combat Marine, has been charged with first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in the death of his adopted son, Hyunsu, earlier this month.

It is alleged that sometime between January 31 and February 2 in the family’s Damascus home, O’Callaghan beat to the death the three-year-old boy he and his wife adopted from Korea jus three months earlier.

"The injuries to this child were catastrophic injuries," said State's Attorney John McCarthy. "I think the evidence supports the charges that were brought."

Madoc Hyeonsu O'Callaghan Obituary

Date: 2014-02-13

Madoc Hyeonsu O'Callaghan

Madoc Hyeonsu O'Callaghan, age 3, of Damascus, Md., passed away Monday, February 3, 2014, at Children's Hospital National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Born in South Korea, Madoc joined his forever family, October 23, 2013, and from that day on he was a smiling, content, and loving son and brother. He loved his dogs, his big brother Aidan, and anything his parents made for him to eat.

He wasn't dealt the simplest hand in life, but he found something to love in it every day. He is survived by his parents Brian and Jennifer O'Callaghan, his brother Aidan and his dog Buddy.

State poised to yank Utah adoption agency’s license

Date: 2014-02-12

State poised to yank Utah adoption agency’s license

Adoption » It’s not the first time agency has faced state scrutiny.

By Brooke Adams | The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published Feb 12 2014 06:58 pm • Last Updated Feb 12 2014 10:16 pm

A Utah agency that has come under fire in the past for its involvement in controversial adoptions has been put on notice that the state plans to revoke its license after it continued to accept new clients despite being prohibited from doing so.

The Adoption Center of Choice has until Feb. 20 to respond to the revocation notice from the Office of Licensing for the Utah Department of Human Services.

The action follows a notice issued last September, when the agency was told to correct various operating problems and given a probationary license that expires at the end of the month.

Arrest Warrant

Date: 2014-02-12

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