Date: 1992-10-15



October 15, 1992
Janice Haidet
Dayton Daily News
The mother of a 6-year-old girl who died after getting into chlorine bleach told a Greene County grand jury Wednesday that she felt she'd done nothing wrong.

Kathleen Carroll of Cedarville answered questions on the witness stand for more than two hours during the grand jury's third session since the girl, Hannah Carroll, died Sept. 21, said the Carrolls' attorney, John Rion of Dayton. Assistant Greene County Prosecutor Suzanne Schmidt and other officials have questioned why the Carrolls failed to get medical attention for the child.

"We're taking a careful, full and impartial look at all the evidence. . . . We're certainly not rushing into anything," Schmidt said. "What we have here is a 6-year-old child has died, and 6-year-olds don't usually die unless something extraordinary happens to them."

Rion said evaluations have shown that his clients, Timothy and Kathleen Carroll, who have adopted seven other children with multiple handicaps, are "in ideal psychological health to perform as parents."

"Parenting decisions after the fact are always difficult," Rion said. "Mrs. Carroll testified that not only she but friends of the family intermittently provided care for Hannah and saw nothing except burns that seemed to be healing. There was no evidence that anything more sinister was occurring."

Preliminary autopsy findings showed that Hannah, who had Down syndrome, suffered a pneumonia-like swelling of both lungs as well as second-degree burns over about half of her body.

"The mother isn't even sure that the child didn't die from a seizure, which is common with Down syndrome children," Rion said.

The Greene County coroner's office is still awaiting final autopsy results, Chief Investigator William McCarthy said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the grand jury is expected to reconvene to hear more testimony, but Schmidt said no exact date for that has been set. The grand jury could decide next week whether it will indict anyone.


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