Date: 1992-12-10
Source: newsbank.com


December 10, 1992
Janice Haidet
Dayton Daily News
For the fourth time in three months, a Cedarville family is dealing with the death of an adopted child - and for the second time, authorities are seeking custody of the remaining children.

Mollie Carroll, 3, was reported dead in her bed about 10:25 a.m. Wednesday, authorities said. She was the daughter of Timothy and Kathleen Carroll. Greene County Prosecutor William F. Schenck said Chief Coroner's Investigator William McCarthy believed she may have been dead for at least 12 hours by the time her death was reported.

"If that's the case, the situation presents several questions: Why is it that children with these kinds of disabilities were left unattended for that amount of time?" Schenck said. "And, we're back to the question we started with: How is it that this many children with these many disabilities ended up in one home?"

Within 90 minutes of the report of Mollie's death, Juvenile Judge Robert A. Hagler gave the County Children Services Board emergency custody of the Carrolls' five remaining children - James, 16; Josiah, 11; Isaiah, 10; Hosea, 9; and Samuel, 4.

Those children have been removed from the home and were being placed in foster homes, Schenck said Wednesday. The Carrolls have adopted 10 children: All but James and Hosea have physical and/or mental problems; another child, Ann Marie, is grown and no longer lives in the home.

At a hearing today in Greene County Juvenile Court, the Carrolls will fight to get the children back. Children Services will seek a stronger custody ruling.

The Carrolls became subjects of intense scrutiny after the Sept. 21 death of 6-year-old Hannah, a Down syndrome child. She died of pneumonia after getting into household bleach.

Authorities said the Carrolls could have prevented Hannah's death by getting medical attention for her sooner. The Carrolls said she seemed normal until she collapsed three days after the bleach spill. The Carrolls were indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter in Hannah's death, and have a January trial date.

In a custody hearing two days after Hannah's death, Juvenile Court Referee Robert Hutcheson refused to remove the remaining children from the home, with the exception of an infant whose adoption process was not complete.

That infant, Chloe, died Oct. 19 after she was returned to a Columbus adoption agency. She was born with only a brain stem inside her skull.

The next child to die was Noah, 3, a crack baby who had a history of seizures. He died Nov. 15. The final autopsy report is expected next week, but preliminary findings showed natural causes, McCarthy said.

The latest death was Mollie, who was born with Cri du Chat syndrome, which is French for "cry of the cat" because of the characteristic "mewing" of babies with the genetic defect. McCarthy said an autopsy Wednesday showed no apparent cause, and a preliminary ruling is expected in about two days.

The Carrolls' lawyer, John H. Rion of Dayton, said early death is expected in children with Cri du Chat - and he contended that all four Carroll children who died had documented medical histories that contributed to or caused their deaths. He maintains that the Carrolls should be praised, not condemned, for "the tremendous emotional risk" they assume by adopting children with multiple handicaps.

"I'm not saying that this last death was anything other than a natural death," Schenck said, "but my staff requested removal of all of these children a long time ago, and here we are several deaths later, faced with this situation again."


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