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Most recent articles added to the case archives



Mom who abused girl ordered to stand trial in 1995 death

Date: 1999-09-04

COLDWATER, Mich. (AP) -- A mother who pleaded guilty to what authorities called one of the worst cases of child abuse in Utah history has been ordered to stand trial here in another daughter's death.

A judge Thursday ordered Rebecca Tucker to stand trial on charges of second-degree murder and first-degree child abuse in the 1995 death of 3-year-old Danielle Tucker in Coldwater, The Daily Reporter of Coldwater reported. Tucker and her husband were living in Coldwater at the time.Rebecca Tucker, who is serving a five-year sentence in Utah for nearly starving her daughter to death, could face up to life in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors said Rebecca Tucker pushed Danielle, who was adopted, down a flight of stairs at the family's home in 1995, originally telling police the fall was an accident.

The little girl died of head injuries suffered in the fall. The investigation into her death began after Rebecca Tucker was charged with child abuse in Utah.

Three tragedies rock rural Morgan County

Date: 1999-09-04

Violence: Two child killings and rape of baby in a week leave many residents reeling.
Author: Jingle Davis; Staff

Dateline: Rutledge

Article Text:

Stephanie Collins, whose seven years were filled with tragedy, died wanting a Cheerleader Barbie doll.

Paul Anthony Morris, 35, her prospective adoptive father, beat and stomped the child to death here Saturday night after she ''acted up'' on a family shopping trip to Athens because she didn't get the doll, according to investigator Sheron Vance of the Morgan County Sheriff's Department.

Vance said Morris hit Stephanie with his fists, beat her with a belt, then threw the 50-pound girl to the floor and jumped on her chest with both feet, rupturing her liver.

The child's death, along with two unrelated criminal cases -- the torture-slaying of 17-year-old Krystal Gayle Archer of Elbert County and the sexual assault on a baby girl -- stunned residents when they came to light this week in this rural county of 17,000, about 50 miles east of downtown Atlanta.

Buy Buy Baby: 'Children available: newborns, healthy, male and female'

Date: 1999-08-27
International adoption of Guatemalan children has become an £18m industry. But, as demand outstrips supply, there is growing evidence that babies are being bought from mothers - or even stolen. Matthew Chapman reports

Elivia Cano's hands are trembling and the dark patches beneath her eyes betray a string of sleepless nights as she recalls the moment her baby son was taken away from her and sold to a foreign couple. The memories of those few hours - of going into labour and then, still woozy from the medication, watching her newborn child being carried off - have left her with deep psychological scars.

"If anyone even raises their voice now I tremble all over," says Cano, as she wipes away a few tears beginning to trickle down her cheeks. "I was treated like rubbish, an insignificant person."

Cano's child was one of 1,300 Guatemalan infants put up for international adoption last year. While many of these adoptions are perfectly legitimate, there is increasing evidence to suggest that a significant number have been bought illegally from poor mothers or simply stolen.

A story so sad it's kinda scary

Date: 1999-08-09

John Wilkens
The San Diego Union-Tribune

Alicia Wade is 18 now, getting ready for her senior year in high school. She has two horses at the family farm in Cabool, Mo., wants more, and is thinking about becoming a veterinarian.

She doesn't talk much about San Diego, where evil came in through a bedroom window and turned her family's life upside down.

"It wasn't a very pleasant time for us there -- so, if it comes up, it comes up indirectly," said her father, Jim Wade. "But it's not like we're pretending it didn't happen."

On May 8, 1989, a methamphetamine abuser and registered sex offender named Albert Raymond Carder Jr. plucked 8-year-old Alicia from her bed in Cabrillo Heights, a Navy housing complex in Serra Mesa.

Carder took the girl to a nearby field and raped and sodomized her. He told her to be quiet or he would kill her. Then he brought her back.

Alicia told all this to authorities the next day, after her injuries were discovered. The authorities thought she was lying to protect her father.

Couple's jail terms delayed

Date: 1999-08-05

DURANGO - Jail-reporting dates have been delayed for a Bayfield couple convicted of child abuse in the death of an adopted daughter.On Monday, District Judge Greg Lyman granted the 60-day delays while lawyers for Dennis and Sandy Evers appeal the convictions.They were convicted May 11 of criminally negligent child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury stemming from the death of their adopted 6-year-old daughter, Roberta....

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Police accuse parents of killing adopted daughter

Date: 1999-08-05

By Lawrence Waish

The 1992 murder of Helen Gillin was brutal; the disposal of her body methodical.

Who tried to poison the mentally retarded woman, stomped her to death when the poison didn't work and then burned her body in a pit behind a split-level home in Bear Rocks, Fayette County?

State polioa. who have been investigating her disappearance for seven years. yesterday said er Barents did it.

James D. Gillin, 52. and Roberta F. Gillin, 50, the the couple who adopted the victim into their family oi three sons and one daughter were charged yesterday morning with homicide, abuse of a corpse and conspiracy.

They were arraigned before District Justice Robert W. Breakiron of Connellsvtlle and committed without bond to the Fayette County Prison in Unlontown. Their hearing ls scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday.

According to affidavits of probably cause submitted to Breakiron by the state police,the murder of Helen Giliin was the culmination of an argument between her parents in July 1992. The argument began when Roberta Gillins accused her husband of having a sexual relationship with the 25-year-old victim..

Cold case crime site dug up

Date: 1999-08-05

Scholars join investigators seeking evidence in the brutal 1992 murder of a woman after her parents confess to the killing, state police say.

Associated Press

BEAR ROCKS - An anthropological team from Mercyhurst College on Friday continued searching for evidence in the alleged 1992 murder of a 25-year-old mentally retarded woman by her adoptive parents.

Forensic anthropologist Dennis Dirkmaat is leading a team of Mercyhurst students and faculty as well as state police in a search for Helen Gillin’s bone fragments in a wooded lot in Fayette County. Police alleged that Helen's parents, James, 52, and his wife, Roberta, 50, tried to poison their daughter, then stomped on her and perhaps stabbed her. They are also accused of burning her body and dumping the ashes in the pit where the dig is taking place. Police said they also dumped animal bones in the pit to cover their actions.

The Gillins allegedly killed their daughter after Roberta Gillin accused her husband of having sex with the woman, police said.

Police compared the search to an archeological dig, with the team on their hands and knees digging carefully.

SOLD WHEN HE WAS 8 DAYS OLD, MAN SEEKS REDRESS 47 YEARS LATER

Date: 1999-08-02

The Palm Beach Post
Author: Dan Moffett Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

An experienced commodities trader, Michael Chalek understands the reality that markets dictate pricing.

Still, he didn't expect that to apply to human lives - particularly his own.

Adopted days after his birth, Chalek wondered for decades about his natural mother and the circumstances that led her to leave him. He found out last fall when he persuaded a Gainesville judge to open his confidential adoption file, an extraordinary order usually granted only for medical emergencies.

``I found out that I had been sold for $200 to a baby broker,'' Chalek said. ``I was shocked, and I was hurt.''

Florida was a national center for black market adoptions in the 1950s, when Chalek and thousands like him lost their identities. Now he is fighting in the courts to reverse the injustice he says has tormented him since childhood.

CHILDREN FACE LITTLE CHANCE OF ADOPTION

Date: 1999-08-01

MARK STEVENSON
Associated Press

AGUA PRIETA, Mexico - Many people in this dry border region took the news of the child-smuggling ring as confirmation of old fears: that Americans are stealing Mexican children and selling them for adoption in "El Norte."

The reality is more mundane, but no less troubling.

The 17 children in the case who were given false names, smuggled into the United States and offered for adoption belong to an underclass of thousands of youngsters in Mexico.

Their parents can't care for them, and yet few will be adopted legally because of bureaucracy, a cultural stigma against adoption by Mexican couples and wariness of adoptions by foreigners. Many children in orphanages will be there until they're old enough to go out on their own.

Three arrested

The case came to light in May with the arrest of two New York women and a Mexican lawyer who allegedly charged up to $22,000 a child for using falsified papers to place Mexican children with U.S. couples.

'Red flags' preceded tot's death

Date: 1999-07-31

Signs went undetected, official tells task force

The Denver Post
 
A top Colorado official said Friday that a series of undetected warning signs preceded the beating death of a 2 1/2-year-old foster child.
 
Dana Andrews, director of the Division of Child Care Licensing, told a task force appointed by Gov. Bill Owens that her agency has taken steps to spot "red flags" in its foster care system since Miguel Baca died in a state-licensed foster home.
 
"Looking back on it, there were all kinds of red flags," she said of Miguel's death.
 
In an interview, Andrews mentioned four:
 
*All About Kids, the state-licensed child placement agency that certified Rick and E'Von Haney as Miguel's foster parents, was unaware that a child abuse allegation had been made against the Haneys when they previously worked for a different child placement agency, Synthesis. Andrews said she does not recall the nature of the complaint.
 
*Before his beating death, Miguel was injured in a fall from a bunk bed, an injury that went unreported.
 

Mother is charged in '95 death Michigan murder trial a result of Utah abuse case

Date: 1999-07-29

COLDWATER, Mich. (AP) -- A woman is being held without bond in the death of her little girl in Branch County in 1995.

Becky Tucker, 36, was arraigned Wednesday on charges of second-degree murder and child abuse. A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 12. She could face up to life in prison if convicted.Prosecutors said Tucker pushed her 3-year-old adopted daughter down a flight of stairs at the family's home in 1995, originally telling police the fall was an accident.

Danielle Tucker died of head injuries suffered in the fall. The investigation into her death began after Tucker was charged with child abuse in Utah, in a case authorities there called one of the worst in state history.

Officials said her daughter Brittany, Danielle's older half-sister, was 6 when she was found in 1997 living in a filthy locked basement room in the family's Trenton, Cache County, home.

The girl weighed just 32 pounds. Police say she was regularly burned and beaten, and had lice in her hair and sores on her feet. Authorities said the couple's two sons, both natural, were treated well.

GUATEMALA: TIGHTER ADOPTION CONTROLS URGED

Date: 1999-07-28

GUATEMALA: TIGHTER ADOPTION CONTROLS URGED -- A United Nations envoy called on Guatemala to enforce stricter controls on international adoptions and take new steps to protect children to stem the country's problems with baby-selling and youth prostitution. Ofelia Calcetas-Santos, who is in Guatemala at the invitation of the Government for a two-week visit to investigate the country's growing adoption trade, is to make formal recommendations by next April. (Reuters)

Charity's haven for famine children destroyed by paedophile scourge

Date: 1999-07-22

It was created as a refuge for orphans who had suffered starvation, but the idyll was shattered when sex abusers infiltrated the village

Audrey Gillan

Jari Children's Village seems like an idyllic haven for the young, an oasis from the poverty that grinds Ethiopia down. It sits at the foot of Mount Ambassel in a region once so ravaged by famine and civil war that countless thousands died. Surrounded by bougainvillea and jacaranda trees, and full of children who shout "welcome" to a strange face, it is a breathtaking place.

Desperate images of starving orphans of the famine led to the founding of the village in 1974. A Swiss charity, Terre des hommes, Lausanne (Tdh), created the village in a valley given to them by the then emperor, Haile Selassie, and provided the children with a home and an education. The orphans were supposed to live as one big family. They slept in bunks in dormitory huts, ate from big trestle tables and looked up to the adults who worked and lived there, seeing them as their substitute parents.

U.N. studies international adoptions in Guatemala

Date: 1999-07-19

Associated Press Archive
Author: LAURA WIDES; Associated Press Writer
Dateline: GUATEMALA CITY

A U.N. investigator began examining the international adoption business in Guatemala on Monday, focusing on high agency fees and allegations that women are pressured to give up their babies.

Poverty, lax regulation and the country's 36-year civil war have made Guatemala the fourth-largest foreign supplier of children to U.S. adoptive parents. Only Russia, China and South Korea send more children to the United States.

U.N. special investigator Ofelia Calcetas-Santos came to Guatemala at the government's request to study allegations that children are being sold to adoptive parents. She met Monday with government representatives and children's advocates.

In recent years, local child advocacy groups have complained of lawyers who force or trick mothers into giving up their children, and of large amounts of money paid by adoptive parents.

Most of the groups support international adoptions but say the government should better regulate the process.

L.I. WOMEN PLEAD TO BABY SMUGGLING

Date: 1999-07-16

New York Daily News (NY)
Author: JERRY CAPECI

Two Long Island women known in adoption circles as the two Arlenes pleaded guilty yesterday to smuggling Mexican children into the United States and selling them to desperate prospective parents.

The women, who declined to comment about the case, admitted bringing Mexican children some of them sick, and all illegal aliens from Arizona to New York starting in 1995 until they were arrested in May.

Arlene Reingold, 46, and Arlene Lieberman, 48, neighbors from Medford, L.I., face up to 27 months each in prison and $250,000 in fines. Each agreed to pay $43,500 in restitution to be shared by the 17 families they fleeced.

"I brought them through LaGuardia or Kennedy Airport and gave them to the adoptive parents, where they would remain," each woman told Brooklyn Federal Magistrate Judge John Caden in prepared statements they read in court.

Pound Pup Legacy