Date: 1993-06-16
Source: newsbank.com



June 16, 1993
Janice Haidet
Dayton Daily News
The Carroll family of Cedarville which adopted 10 children, most with disabilities - has lost its fifth child in nine months and is facing yet another investigation into a death.

An adopted son of Timothy and Kathleen Carroll, Josiah, 12, who suffered from asthma and cerebral palsy, died in his sleep Monday night. "He wasn't having any difficulty with breathing," Mrs. Carroll said. "It had been a month since he last had to have a breathing treatment. I have to believe that God understands this because I don't."

This latest death in the family of 10 adopted children - seven with disabilities - has renewed official concern about the Carrolls. Three elected county officials - Greene County Prosecutor William F. Schenck, Juvenile Judge Robert Hagler and Coroner Manoj Desai - now are working on the case.

The scrutiny began when Hannah, 6, a Down syndrome child, died Sept. 21, 1992, from pneumonia after ingesting or inhaling bleach. There were nine children at home then. Now there are four: Samuel, 5, also with Down syndrome; Isaiah, 11, who is brain-damaged; and two children without substantial physical problems, Hosea, 9, and James, 17.

"I feel extreme empathy for a family whose losses were already incomprehensible," said John H. Rion, the Carrolls' lawyer. "My first reaction was numbness, and I was extremely troubled, but the more I was around the Carrolls, even after this last tragedy, the more I've been buoyed by their faith in God."

Rion said there is no reason to believe that the latest death was caused by anything other than the child's pre-existing conditions.

"That's the risk you take when you adopt children with multiple handicaps," he said.

Nevertheless, Schenck said, officials are concerned because of the frequency of deaths in the family.

Of the five deaths, Hannah's was the only one that resulted in criminal charges. The Carrolls pleaded guilty to misdemeanors in January for failing to seek immediate medical treatment for her. The Carrolls were cleared of any involvement or neglect in the three other deaths.

A preliminary autopsy on Josiah showed nothing other than natural causes, A but it will take two to three weeks to get final autopsy reports, said William McCarthy, coroner's chief investigator.

Josiah ate a hamburger with the rest of the family at dinner time on Monday and then went to sleep between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m., his regular bedtime. When the oldest adopted child, James, checked on Josiah at about 10:35 p.m., he shouted to his father, "I think Josiah's dead!" Schenck said.

Carroll attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation as did Cedarville paramedics. Josiah was pronounced dead at 11:34 p.m. at Greene Memorial Hospital.

Schenck said photographs show the child vomited in bed, the only physical evidence pointing to the cause of the boy's death.

Mrs. Carroll said that even before the deaths began occurring, it was customary for the family to check on its special-needs children about every three hours.

"I'd like to know how many people check their children that often," she said.

The Carrolls have said they are under extreme scrutiny for adopting so many children. They cannot adopt any other children without court permission, as a result of the settlement of the case involving Hannah.

Mrs. Carroll acknowledged that besides causing emotional strain, the deaths have caused a financial one.

The family does get some subsidies to care for the children, but several of the children who died did not receive subsidies - and some had no medical coverage, she said, adding, "I pay on my other four children's funerals every month, and the interest keeps going up."


Sept. 21

Hannah, 6, a Down syndrome child, dies three days after she got into some household bleach, inhaling fumes and burining more than half her body; authorities begin investigating.

Sept. 23 - Juvenile Court says the Carrolls can keep custody of their eight remaining children, despite a request from Greene County Children Services Board. Because infant Chloe's adoption isn't complete, she is returned to the agency placing her with the Carrolls.

Oct. 16 - Grand jury indicts Timothy and Kathleen Carroll on charges of involuntary manslaughter, an aggravated third-degree felony, in Hannah's death. They plead not guilty.

Oct. 19 - Three-week-old Chloe, who had been born with only a brain stem inside her skull, dies in foster care in Columbus.

Nov. 15 - Noah, 3, a crack baby, dies. Nothing about his death or Chloe's aroused officials' concern.

Dec. 9 - Mollie, 3, who was born with a rare genetic disorder, dies. Authorities are alarmed because it appears the child may have been dead for 12 hours before her body was found. All five remaining Carroll children are removed from the household.

Dec. 11 - Juvenile Court returns two boys without handicaps to the Carroll home.

Dec. 23 - The three handicapped Carroll children return home.


Jan. 19 - Both Carrolls plead guilty to two counts of contributing to the neglect of a child in connection with Hannah's death. A one-year sentence is suspended on condition that they successfully complete five years probation.


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