Introduction: Ricky Holland's story

Date: 2007-12-02
Source: freep.com

Introduction: Ricky Holland's story

Take a new look at a foster child's disturbing life and horrific death. If you had been there ...

BY JACK KRESNAK • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER • December 2, 2007

On a raw January day in 2006, Tim Holland fell to his knees after leading police to the skeletal remains of his son Ricky in a Michigan swamp.

"What have I done?"he wailed as he looked at the black plastic garbage bag partially submerged in the icy water. "What have I done?"

What could anyone have done to save Ricky?

What did anyone do?

Ricky's story got national attention when the search for the missing 7-year-old turned into an ugly case of murder at the hands of his adoptive parents, Tim and Lisa Holland.

They convinced authorities they were a deserving couple seeking to build a family through the foster care system.

But a Free Press investigation shines new light on how their dark, secretive world unraveled, and Ricky with it. Confidential documents provide disturbing new details about his life, death -- and those who were supposed to protect him.

Ricky came into foster care as a bright child hurt by neglect. His problems only grew, masked by powerful drugs and the Hollands' manipulation of teachers, social workers, doctors, child welfare investigators and others who looked for abuse but didn't always see it or act.

Would you have seen it?

Could you have saved Ricky?

Read his story and decide.

It won't be as easy as you think.

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