Date: 1993-09-02


September 2, 1993
Jim Dillon
Dayton Daily News
Greene County Coroner Dr. Manoj Desai has changed the ruling on 6-year-old Hannah Carroll's death in September 1992 from undetermined causes to homicide.

"I had enough clinical evidence from expert witnesses," Desai said Wednesday night. "I also considered information from a pathologist and the conflicting accounts of how she died." Though the change strengthens Greene County Prosecutor William F. Schenck's criminal case against Hannah's alleged assailant, her adoptive brother James Carroll, that was not a consideration, Desai said.

James Carroll, 17, is charged in Greene County Juvenile Court with delinquency by reason of involuntary manslaughter. His trial is set for Sept. 20.

Desai said much of the information that prompted him to change the ruling came to light during a July inquest. He called for the inquest following the suspicious deaths of Hannah and three other adoptive brothers and sisters, Mollie, Noah and Josiah.

Desai said he is reviewing the "undetermined" rulings he made on the deaths of Mollie and Noah and soon might issue a ruling on Josiah's death. The four were among 10 children with physical, mental or emotional problems adopted by Timothy and Kathleen Carroll of Cedarville. Hannah died Sept. 21 from severe burns caused when bleach spilled on her.

Authorities charged the Carrolls with involuntary manslaughter, but they were allowed to plead guilty to contributing to the neglect of a minor.

Hannah, 6, had Down syndrome and trouble seeing, speaking and walking. Authorities were told Hannah spilled the bleach on herself. Bleach burns covered 27 percent of her body.

During the inquest, Dr. Glenn Donald Warden, chief of staff of Shriners Burns Institute in Cincinnati since 1985, said photos, medical reports and his own experiments contradict the family's account of how Hannah died.

Her injuries were life-threatening, but she could have been saved if treated, Warden said.

Warden said the burns couldn't possibly have been caused by exposure to bleach for only about five minutes, as family members stated.

The burn patterns also showed that Hannah raised her arm in a defensive, protective position.


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