Monday, March 14, 2011

Florida is scary #13

Potty training is one of the most frustrating parenting experiences I've faced, but I still can't muster even a fraction of an ounce of empathy for Robin Greinke, 26, an Illinois woman, who along with her boyfriend beat her 3-year-old son to death because he wet his pants. Once they were finished, and he lay nearby dying, they ate a pizza and watched a movie.

Greinke and Steven Neil, 33, admitted that they took turns beating the boy for more than an hour after he had an accident February 8 while they were visiting Florida. "They were upset with him and they tossed him and spanked him and punched him," a homicide investigator told Central Florida News 13.

After enjoying themselves with the pizza and movie, Greinke finally called 911 around 5 a.m. to say her son, Noah Fake, was wheezing, and she couldn't sleep. She couldn't sleep. No one with even a hint of a conscience possibly could, but apparently she has none.

If it was a rash incident, it wouldn't make it any better, but at least there would be a tiny hint of understanding of how someone can snap. Potty training can be brutal, but this? This is truly one of the most horrific, unconscionable acts against a child by his own mother I've come across. It makes me physically ache to think about what this child endured.

I just can't imagine what cold, callous people these individuals must be, and what an awful life this boy must have led during the years he was alive. With a mother like that, I can't imagine they were anything but awful. I don't want to believe he's better off dead, but he would likely be better off anywhere than in the care of a woman who could not only kill, but sit by and chow down on dinner afterwards. Monster is the only word for someone like that, and no alcohol or drugs or anything else can provide even a hint of an excuse for these actions.

The couple has been charged with aggravated child abuse, child neglect, and first-degree murder. Greinke was denied bail on Saturday and remains in jail and on suicide watch. I hope they watch her closely, because she doesn't deserve such an easy escape from her actions.

While I don't support the death penalty, it's cases like this that make me question that stance. I hope whatever punishment they face is as severe as the law allows and that they never get to enjoy a piece of pizza or view a movie ever again.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Florida is scary #12

The adoptive mother of a Florida girl found dead in a plastic bag in her husband's truck has been charged with first-degree murder, police said Saturday.

Carmen Barahona also faces seven counts of aggravated child abuse and seven counts of child neglect, the Miami-Dade Police Department said in a press release.

Authorities have said Jorge Barahona -- the 10-year-old girl's adoptive father and Carmen's husband -- parked his pest control truck alongside I-95 on February 14. A roadside ranger said he found Barahona beside the truck and his adopted son ill inside the vehicle, which was filled with toxic chemicals. The boy was taken to a hospital to be treated for severe burns.

The body of his adopted daughter, Nubia -- who is the boy's twin sister -- was later discovered in the back of the truck in a plastic bag.

Four days later, Jorge Barahona pleaded not guilty on charges of attempted first-degree murder with a weapon and aggravated child abuse with a weapon in the case.

At least two people tried to warn authorities about alleged abuse of the twins.

In one instance, a caller told Florida authorities that he knew Jorge and Carmen Barahona, and he was worried about the couple's twins. The contents of that phone call, which was made two days before the twins were found, was released this week by the Florida Department of Children and Families.

The caller said he was worried that something sinister had happened to the 10-year-old girl because Jorge and Carmen Barahona could not explain where the girl was.

"(Jorge Barahona) doesn't come out with a straight answer which is worrying me so much that something might have happened to that little girl," said the caller, who was not named.

Four days before the twins were found, a therapist told authorities that the children are "taped up ... and put in a bathtub," according to another abuse hotline call also released this week.

"They are in there, all day and all night," said the therapist, who was not named.

An independent panel has been asked to investigate the actions of Florida's child protection system in the case.

The Miami-Dade Police Department said Saturday that "this continues to be active investigation," adding that a press briefing is scheduled for Monday.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Florida is scary #11

I thought I was done with this but once again things happen to freak me out.

Police in south Florida are trying to identify the bodies of two children found stuffed into luggage and floating in a south Florida canal Wednesday.

"We're devastated, and someone is missing these children," Sgt. Nicole Guerriero, a Delray Beach police spokeswoman, told reporters Wednesday evening. "Someone knows these children, and we need to know who these kids are."

The remains of two African-American children -- a girl between 6 and 10 years old, and a boy believed to be 10 to 12 -- were found about six hours and a half-mile apart in the canal that separates Delray Beach from Boca Raton. The girl's body was found first, after a passerby alerted police to a duffel bag floating about midway across the canal; the boy's body turned up in a suitcase closer in as investigators combed the banks for evidence, Guerriero said.

Police are working on the assumption that the deaths are related, and are asking the public to get involved.

"If anyone has not seen their grandchild, their niece, their nephew, please give us a call," Guerriero said.

The bodies showed no obvious signs of trauma, Guerriero told HLN's "Nancy Grace." The bodies had been in the water long enough to have been affected by the immersion but were still intact, she said.

An autopsy is planned, and investigators will return to the canal for a more extensive search on Thursday, she said. Meanwhile, she said investigators are checking missing persons reports in an attempt to identify who the two children might be.