Date: 1993-11-27


Kevin Lamb
November 27, 1993
Dayton Daily News
It's time to reunite Timothy and Kathleen Carroll with their children, their probation officer said Friday in a custody hearing pitting the family against the Greene County Children Services Board.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Carroll took the witness stand after months of public scrutiny of the family's fitness to adopt disabled children. "They've stolen my children," she said of Greene County authorities. "I miss them."

Probation officer Barb Fryman, who has supervised the Carrolls since January, described the couple as "excellent" parents.

"This family has a lot of love for each other," Fryman said. "Mr. and Mrs. Carroll are concerned about their children. The boys are very happy to see their parents. You can tell that they want to be with their mother and father."

However, cross-examination by assistant Greene County prosecutor Suzanne Schmidt emphasized Fryman's lack of unannounced visits to the Carrolls and her unfamiliarity with several medical documents about the children.

Two of the Carrolls' four adopted children - Samuel, 5, and Isaiah, 11 - were put into foster care Aug. 17 after four other adopted children had died within nine months.

Greene County prosecutor William F. Schenck wants their emergency custody changed to temporary custody, which would give the children services board more time to impose restrictions on the Carrolls before their children are returned.

Two of the four deaths have been ruled homicides. No charges have been filed in one, but the Carrolls pleaded guilty to child neglect for failing to seek medical treatment for 6-year-old Hannah in the three days between her burning with bleach and her death. Their 17-year-old son, James, was acquitted of delinquency by reason of involuntary manslaughter earlier this month.

"My children who passed away had multiple disabilities," said Mrs. Carroll, the third witness on the defense's first day to present its case. "Except Hannah, all of them lived longer than they were supposed to."

Mrs. Carroll "took full responsibility for what happened to" Hannah. "I wish I had done everything differently. I am far beyond remorse."

The children remaining in the Carrolls' Cedarville home are Hosea, 10, who was born four months premature to a drug-addicted mother, and James, 17, whose disabilities are psychological.

"Hosea wakes up sometimes in the middle of the night, crying about his brothers," Mrs. Carroll said. "James has repeatedly offered to go live with friends of the family if it means the boys can come home."

Samuel has Down syndrome and Isaiah is a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy from a beating in infancy by his natural mother.

Home schooling is another issue in the custody battle. Educator Raymond Moore of Camas, Wash., whom Schenck acknowledged as an expert in home schooling, said the children would suffer by being sent to public school "with what they have going on at home."

The Carrolls have insisted on educating their own children, Mrs. Carroll said, because they can provide for the children's spiritual needs and a nurturing environment.


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