EXHUMATIONS PUT ON HOLD

Date: 1993-09-30
Source: newsbank.com

EXHUMATIONS PUT ON HOLD

September 30, 1993
Janice Haidet
Dayton Daily News
        
To the horror of family members, investigators planned to exhume the bodies of two Carroll children from their graves today. But a Preble County court order stopped the action temporarily.

Greene County Prosecutor William F. Schenck predicted Tim and Kathleen Carroll won't be able to prevent authorities from disinterring the bodies of Josiah Carroll, 12, and Mollie Carroll, 3, two of four Carroll children who died under suspicious circumstances.

"I don't believe that in the long run they'll be successful from stopping this process from going forward," Schenck said.

Preble County Judge David Abruzzo issued a temporary restraining order late Wednesday saying the disinterment could cause irreparable harm to the Carrolls. He acted at the request of John H. Rion, Mrs. Carroll's lawyer, and Dennis E. Gump, who represents Mr. Carroll.

The order sets a hearing for Oct. 8.

Josiah died June 14, and there hasn't been a ruling on the cause of his death. Mollie died Dec. 9 and her death was ruled undetermined.

At a coroner's inquest this summer, experts said they could have been smothered. Josiah and Mollie, along with Hannah, 6, who died from chemical burns, and Noah, 3, whose death was ruled natural, are buried in Preble Memory Gardens in West Alexandria in Preble County.

"Kathleen was numb. Tim was outraged, and he had a sense of 'When is this all going to stop?' It's horrifying, " Rion said describing the Carrolls' reaction to plans to exhume the bodies.

"The family had, in their mind, put their children in a lasting peace. Now they feel the government is trying to disrupt that."

Schenck said he asked Rion to tell the Carrolls out of respect and courtesy. Ohio law gives county prosecutors and coroners authority to exhume bodies without anyone's notification or approval.

"We didn't have to let them know what we were going to do, but that would have been insensitive and disrespectful," Schenck said. "We had hoped there would be some way of resolving these matters without taking this action . . . but it is the unanimous opinion of the experts that this must be done."

Preble County Prosecutor Rebecca J. Ferguson ordered exhumations of the two bodies because Greene County authorities "have shown necessity essential to the administration of justice."

New expert witnesses, whom Schenck and Coroner Manoj Desai declined to name, are being asked to give depositions justifying the exhumations.



AT A GLANCE


* What: Preble County Judge David Abruzzo blocks Greene County investigators from exhuming the bodies of Josiah and Mollie Carroll.
* Reason for exhuming the bodies: Investigators think Josiah, 12, and Mollie, 3, may have been smothered.
* What happens next: A hearing has been set for Oct. 8. Expert witnesses will give depositions justifying the exhumations.

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