CARROLLS LOSE 2 CHILDREN
CARROLLS LOSE 2 CHILDREN
JUDGE ORDERS THEM INTO COUNTY CUSTODY
August 18, 1993
Dayton Daily News
A visiting judge issued a sealed order Tuesday removing two handicapped youngsters from the Cedarville home of Timothy and Kathleen Carroll, but the reasons for the decision remain a mystery.
Judge Richard T. Cole ordered behind closed doors that Isaiah, a partially paralyzed, brain-damaged youngster who turns 11 on Thursday, and Samuel, a 5-year-old Down syndrome child, be turned over to the Greene County Children Services Board. Cole then made a quiet exit that escaped the notice of reporters waiting outside the court building. Members of the Carroll family, normally willing to grant interviews, did the same.
The judge's decision leaves James, 17, and Hosea, 10, in the home where four children died between September 1992 and June 1993.
Cole apparently discarded a recommendation from Cedarville attorney Stephen Bogenschutz, a court-appointed advocate for the children, who suggested during a hearing last Friday that only James be removed from the home.
James faces two counts of delinquency by reason of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the bleach-burning death of Hannah, 6. Originally set for Aug. 30, James' trial has been reset for Sept. 20 in juvenile court.
James and Hosea are said to have some learning or emotional problems, but are described as being very self-reliant compared to their adopted siblings.
All four of the adopted children who died were physically or mentally handicapped, and investigators say all died under suspicious circumstances. Hannah died of bleach burns; smothering couldn't be ruled out in the three subsequent deaths.
Experts have said that they believe the deaths of Mollie, 3, and Josiah, 12, were unrelated to their disabilities. Noah, 3, may have died from a seizure, but his death is considered suspicious because the body was cold by the time paramedics arrived. The bodies of Mollie and Josiah also were cold, according to reports.
Although Greene County Prosecutor William F. Schenck said he and Children Services officials were pleased with Cole's decision, Schenck said, "I'm not going to characterize this as a win or a loss . . . I'm not sure there are any winners in these types of cases."
Schenck said he couldn't disclose Cole's reasoning, which is outlined in a court document that the judge sealed, but Schenck said, "He goes by the book and the rules."
Mrs. Carroll's lawyer, John H. Rion, said Cole's order contains "nothing detrimental to the Carrolls." He believes the judge's decision to remove Isaiah and Samuel came because "more is unknown about their special needs."
The family's pastor, Wesley Brubaker, who drove the family from the hearing, said Mrs. Carroll had become extremely emotional.
"It hurts down to the bottom of her heart," Brubaker said. "There's nothing stronger than a mother's love."
The Carrolls chose to adopt children with problems, and nurtured them so much that many have lived longer than expected, Brubaker said. "I don't hear anybody saying anything about that anymore, that these were children who weren't expected to live long," he said.
Assistant County Prosecutor Suzanne Schmidt said the judge's decision indicates that Greene County Children Services demonstrated that Isaiah and Samuel were in danger in the home.
It is unknown how long it will take before the two disabled boys can be returned to their home.
Having been granted emergency custody, Children Services intends to take the process a step further and attempt to get temporary custody of the Carroll children. That request is set for a hearing Dec. 1.
Rion said it's been terribly painful for the Carrolls "to wait for the bureaucrats to finish tinkering with their lives."