Hannah, Noah, Molly and Joshua Carroll

Four children adopted by Kathleen and Timothy Carroll die under suspicious circumstances.

Chronology

  • 1991 Anne Marie, 19,  placed with the Carrolls in 1985. She attempts to burn family home in Madison Twp. and and subsequently placed in custody of the Ohio Department of Youth Services. She claims most of the care for 10 children in the house hold lies on her shoulders and her biological brother James.
  • Sept. 21, 1992, the first death: Hannah, 6, a Down syndrome child, dies. Parents say she was "doing fine" after household bleach was spilled on her three days earlier, but evidence showed the child suffered horribly, with chemical burns inside her lungs and over nearly one-third of her body. Until this incident, Greene County Children Services is unaware of the family, which had 10 adopted children, all with physical, mental or emotional problems. Originally from Massachusetts, they moved to Madison Twp. in 1990, and then to Cedarville two months before Hannah died. The agency's attempt to get emergency custody of the remaining children is denied.
  • October-December 1992, three more deaths: A 1-month-old child, Chloe, who was born with only a brain stem and no brain, dies Oct. 19 in the care of the Columbus adoption agency that had placed her with the Carrolls. On Nov. 15, Noah, 3, a "crack" baby who suffered brain damage and seizures, dies. Officials express extreme concern after Mollie, a 3-year-old with mental retardation and severe allergies, appears to have been dead for 12 hours before she was found Dec. 9. County Juvenile Judge Robert A. Hagler removes the remaining children from the home, but returns them two days before Christmas.
  • January 1993, a guilty plea: Kathleen and Timothy Carroll, originally charged with involuntary manslaughter, plead guilty to child neglect charges in Hannah's death, admitting they should have sought medical treatment for her burns. They are placed on five years' probation and they agree to adopt no more children without prior court consent.
  • June 1993, the fifth death: After several months of little activity in the case, Josiah, a 12-year-old with cerebral palsy, dies. Again, officials become alarmed and ask for removal of the remaining children, but the request is denied.
  • July 1993, the inquest: The county's first inquest in a decade produces inconsistencies between experts' testimony and family members' stories about the deaths, and Judge Hagler removes himself from the case, citing innuendos about his objectivity.
  • August 1993, the charge and the removal: The family's eldest son, James, then 17, is charged with delinquency by reason of involuntary manslaughter because he was supervising Hannah at the time of the injury that caused her death. The new judge in the case, Richard T. Cole, orders Samuel, then 5, and Isaiah, then 11, removed from the Carroll home and placed in foster care.
  • October 1993, the exhumations: Despite the Carrolls' protests, the bodies of Mollie and Josiah are exhumed from their Preble County graves to allow further investigation of their deaths.
  • November 1993, the trial: After a three-day trial, Cole acquits James of all charges. The family then spends several days trying to convince Cole to return Samuel and Isaiah to the home.
  • December 1993, the custody ruling: In a harshly worded decision, Cole tells the Carrolls that their two handicapped children will stay in foster care at least for a while because the Carrolls have no plan to care for them and have refused outside help.
  • April 1994, the battle resumes: The Carrolls again argue to get their children back, and they also ask that their probation be lifted. They're denied on both counts.
  • May 1994, home visits begin: Previously visiting Samuel and Isaiah at the Children Services Board's office, the Carrolls are elated to have their children come to their home for visits.
  • June 1994, a new accusation: Officials file for permanent custody of Samuel and Isaiah and ask that James be kept separate from them. Prosecutors say Isaiah, who cannot speak, implicated James in Josiah's death. After a lengthy custody hearing, Cole rules that home visits can resume as long as James is not present.
  • November 1994, in court again: Questions linger about the deaths. Meanwhile, officials try to get permanent custody of Samuel and Isaiah, saying that the Carrolls, even after more than a year of working with Children Services, still fail to acknowledge how much care the youngsters need. The Carrolls say, however, that they're determined to demonstrate that the children would do best living with them.
  • May 1995, Samuel and Isaiah return to the Carrolls
  • October 1997 Carrolls regained the right to home school Samuel and Isaiah

Despite being called a homicide, no one was ever charged in the case of Noah.
Date: 1992-09-21
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse, Lethal neglect
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother, Adopted sibling
Home schooling: yes

Homestudy

Organizations: Montgomery County Children Services

Placement

Organizations: Adoption by Gentle Care, Project Impact Inc., Cuyahoga County Children Services Board

Location

Cedarville, Ohio
United States
See map: Google Maps
DocumentDatesort icon
CARROLLS WILL HOME-SCHOOL DISABLED SONS1997-10-21
CARROLLS' CRUSADE CONTINUES1996-04-03
NO HOME-SCHOOLING FOR 2 DISABLED BOYS, JUDGE TELLS FAMILY1995-08-10
JUDGE SAYS RULING WILL BE SPEEDY1995-07-08
2 CHILDREN RETURNED TO CARROLLS' CUSTODY1995-05-19
OFFICIAL SAYS CARROLLS CLOSE TO GETTING SONS1994-12-20
CARROLL SON MEETS WITH GRAND JURY1994-12-01
PROSECUTOR TO CONTINUE PROBE OF CARROLL DEATH1994-11-30
CARROLL CASE NOT EXACTLY ONE OF A KIND1994-11-30
CARROLLS GET 2 FOR HOLIDAYS1994-11-29
CARROLL FAMILY CUSTODY CASE BACK IN COURT1994-11-28
JUDGE ALLOWS PICTURES OF FOSTER KIDS1994-07-30
PROSECUTOR TELLS CARROLLS: NO MORE PICTURES1994-07-27
GREENE JUDGE OKS SOME CARROLLS' VISIT WITH ADOPTED SON1994-07-07
JUDGE TO LET CARROLLS TALK TO ACCUSING SON1994-07-06
THERAPIST CONDUCTS INTERVIEW1994-07-01
SPEECH THERAPIST TO INTERVIEW BOY, TESTIFY IN START OF CARROLL TRIAL1994-06-30
ISAIAH CARROLL'S LIFE IS IMPONDERABLE1994-06-22
CARROLLS SEEK TO INTERVIEW ACCUSING CHILD1994-06-15
BOY SAW SLAYING, HE TELLS1994-06-14
CARROLLS' WISH COMES TRUE TODAY1994-05-20
CARROLLS TO GET HOME VISITS WITH KIDS1994-05-19
CARROLLS TRY TO REGAIN CUSTODY OF 2 CHILDREN1994-04-30
NEWS COVERAGE UNFAIR, CARROLL TELLS AUDIENCE1993-12-18
2 CARROLLS STAY IN FOSTER CARE1993-12-07
CUSTODY DECISION STILL UP IN THE AIR1993-11-28
CARROLLS: GIVE BACK CHILDREN1993-11-27
2ND DEATH OF CARROLL CHILD RULED HOMICIDE1993-11-25
CUSTODY FIGHT 'RELIGIOUS WAR,' CARROLLS SAY1993-11-24
CARROLLS SEEK CUSTODY1993-11-23
CARROLL SON ACQUITTED1993-11-04
CARROLL'S DEFENSE RESTS1993-11-03
EXPERT QUESTIONS STORY1993-11-02
NEW JUDGE SOUGHT IN CARROLL CASE1993-10-28
SON FACES 5 MORE CHARGES1993-10-26
EXHUMED BODIES ADEQUATE FOR TESTING, PROSECUTOR SAYS1993-10-21
'IT'S JUST WRONG,' ADOPTIVE MOM SAYS OF EXHUMATION1993-10-20
2 BODIES OF CHILDREN EXHUMED1993-10-19
GREENE PROSECUTOR APPEALS EXHUMATION DELAY1993-10-16
CARROLLS WIN DELAY OF EXHUMATIONS1993-10-15
AUTHORITIES TO EXHUME CHILDREN1993-10-13
PREBLE JUDGE CONSIDERING CARROLL EXHUMATIONS1993-10-09
EXHUMATIONS PUT ON HOLD1993-09-30
JUDGE WON'T ALTER STATUS OF CARROLLS1993-09-11
JUDGE TO GET NEW PLAN FOR CARROLL CHILDREN1993-09-10
DEATH CASE TWISTS1993-09-09
DEATH CALLED HOMICIDE1993-09-02
2 CARROLL CHILDREN TO STAY IN FOSTER CARE FOR NOW1993-08-31
CARROLLS TO TRY AGAIN TO REGAIN 2 BOYS1993-08-28
CARROLL BOY FAINTS DURING VISITATION1993-08-27
GREENE COUNTY RESPONDS TO CARROLLS' MOVE FOR WRIT1993-08-25
CARROLLS CHALLENGE ORDER1993-08-24
A VIEW FROM THE COURTHOUSE LOBBY1993-08-18
CARROLLS LOSE 2 CHILDREN1993-08-18
CARROLL CASE OPTION URGED1993-08-14
GREENE JUDGE EXPLAINS DECISION ON CARROLLS1993-08-10
CARROLL QUESTIONS LINGER1993-08-09
PEOPLE NEED AN EXPLANATION FROM JUDGE ON CARROLL DECISION1993-08-07
JUDGE LETS CARROLLS KEEP CHILDREN1993-08-07
JUVENILE CHARGED IN DEATH1993-08-06
CARROLLS MAY LOSE CHILDREN1993-08-04
TIME TO GET THE KIDS OUT OF THE CARROLL HOUSE1993-08-04
CORONER ORDERS CARROLLS TO TESTIFY1993-08-03
PROFILE OF THE CARROLL FAMILY1993-08-01
WE MUST FIND A WAY TO PROTECT CHILDREN1993-08-01
INQUEST RAISES MORE CONCERN ABOUT CARROLLS1993-08-01
JUDGE STEPS ASIDE1993-07-31
GIRL TRIED TO PROTECT SELF1993-07-30
EXPERTS CAST DOUBT ON CARROLLS' STORY1993-07-29
INQUEST POINTS TO BUSY HOME FOR HANDICAPPED1993-07-28
INQUEST INTO CEDARVILLE CHILDREN'S DEATHS SET TO BEGIN1993-07-24
INQUEST POSTPONED IN CEDARVILLE DEATHS1993-06-26
LAWYER TOLD DEPUTIES TO LEAVE CARROLL DEATH SCENE1993-06-23
INQUEST SET FOR CEDARVILLE FAMILY1993-06-22
CEDARVILLE FAMILY LOSES 5TH CHILD1993-06-16
CARROLLS PLEAD TO LESSER CHARGE, GET PROBATION1993-01-20
HEARING TODAY TO DECIDE IF COUPLE WHOSE DAUGHTER DIED GO TO TRIAL1993-01-19
CEDARVILLE PAIR'S HEARING PUT OFF UNTIL JAN. 191993-01-09
HOME FOR CHRISTMAS1992-12-24
ISSUES MUST BE FACED IN CARROLL CASE1992-12-13
2 BOYS BACK HOME WITH CEDARVILLE PARENT1992-12-12
PARENTS AWAIT CHILDREN'S FATE1992-12-11
ADOPTION LIMITS MAY BE SET1992-12-11
CEDARVILLE COUPLE SEE 4TH CHILD DIE1992-12-10
NATURAL CAUSES CITED IN 3-YEAR-OLD'S DEATH1992-11-17
CEDARVILLE PAIR LOSES 3RD CHILD1992-11-16
'NOBODY BELIEVES US'1992-11-15
JUDGE ASKED TO THROW OUT INDICTMENT IN CHILD'S DEATH1992-10-23
PARENTS OF DEAD GIRL INDICTED1992-10-17
JURY PROBES GIRL'S DEATH1992-10-15
OFFICIALS SEEK MORE DATA ON DEATH OF GIRL1992-09-26
GRIEF AFTER CHILD'S DEATH1992-09-24
GIRL DIES AFTER TOYING WITH BLEACH1992-09-23
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Location

Pound Pup Legacy