His name was Marcus, Marcus Fiesel and he was 3 years old. His was a life of labels. He was a “special needs” child. He was reported to have autism. He was reported to have ADHD. He was reported to be neglected. He was a foster child. He was reported to be a “handful”. But in reality, he was a little boy- just a little boy maybe with some problems but like any other children- he had a life ahead of him. And in his short life, he made the newspapers at least twice and his name is now known by many. But he is not here to enjoy his new found fame.
In Jan. of this year Marcus fell out of a 2 nd story window in his home. In April he was found wandering without supervision. And in April authorities removed him from that home due to adverse conditions in the home.
In the foster care system, he was placed in the home of David and Liz Carroll. This all came to the public’s attention again on Aug. 15, when the foster mother reportedly passed out in the park with Marcus and three other young children in her care. Help was quickly at her side. An ambulance was called and she was taken to the hospital, park employees and police officers took charge of her kids. Her husband was called to come to the park to pick them up. Then her husband said that Marcus was with Liz at the park, and he was missing.
Hundreds turned out to search for him. Police used dogs to try to track his movements in the park. But no trace of Marcus was found. And that was part of the puzzle, no trace was found. No one remembered a woman with 4 children in her care. No one remembered a child alone. Dogs found no trace of Marcus’ scent. The park was searched multiple times, even the area around the park was searched. After the search was formally called off, when it was felt that the area have been fully searched, people continued to go to the park to search on their own. There was no trace of Marcus.
After the search was called off, the investigation was continuing. The foster family’s movements that day were tracked, their family, friends and associates were talked to. A search was done at the foster home. The foster mother held a press conference where she begged for anyone who may have seen her in the park with 4 kids to come forward. She talked about the problems that her family had had since Marcus came up missing and the way she felt the community was treating her family negatively. And she also asked for whoever was holding Marcus to please drop him off at a hospital, newspaper office or police station. And said that they had been told that David Carroll had failed a polygraph.
The investigation turned up several things. Liz admittedly had a heart condition. David had been charged with domestic violence in June, but the charges were later dropped. It has been reported that David had bipolar disorder. And there was another adult living in the home. Reportedly David’s girlfriend lived in the home with him and his wife. (she denys living in the home but admits to staying there some). Reportedly David did not work, and the families sole income was children. They had Marcus and another foster child and they babysat for other children. They also had 4 biological children. At least one person has said that David was tired of the children.
Marcus was found last night. A witness (some say it was the girlfriend Amy Baker) led law enforcement to his body. Allegedly the Carroll were going to a family reunion on Aug. 4 th. But instead of taking Marcus, they restrained him in a closet and left him there. And when they returned on Aug. 6, they found him dead. Reportedly David Carroll had taken his body to an isolated spot where there was the remains of an chimney from a house that had long disintegrated. And there he incinerated his body.
David and Liz Carroll have each been charged with involuntary manslaughter and two counts of child endangerment. David Carroll has also been charged with abuse of a corpse. Prosecutor’s say that more charges could be filed later.
Family who attended the reunion have talked with media and say that Marcus’ name wasn’t mentioned there. Friends who saw the couple after the disappearance say that there was no clue from the couple’s actions. Everyone agrees, they never thought that David and Liz Carroll were capable of this. And that everyone includes the agency who placed the Marcus with the family. They say there was a lot the family didn’t report to them, and they say they were conned.
Though David and Liz Carroll have been arrested, this is far from over. The investigation is continuing. Police and prosecutors believe that more people may have known what happened. The contract agency who placed Marcus in the home is also being investigated, and all other placements they made with other children are being reviewed.
I often think of the impact that a crime in the home has on a community. And the impact here is huge. Many people became emotionally invested when the search for Marcus was being conducted. People who go to that park will remember. People who drive by the park will remember. Law enforcement and the people who searched so hard. The prosecutor at one point in the press conference sounded tearful. The foster care system procedures are being questioned. The contract agency is now being investigated. Family and friends of David and Liz Carroll and of Amy Baker are finding it difficult to believe of the people they thought they knew. Of the people they did not believe were capable of this.
One little boy. It is too late for him. But it is not too late for others in the foster care system not only in this state, but in other states. Marcus was not the first. But please, make him the last. Review the foster care systems. Fix what is broken. Make sure that children who are removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect are not victimized again, by the very system who says they are protecting them.
As the investigation continues, the emphasis will shift to blame, who did it, who knew, and who will be charged. Emphasis will go to the trials, the sentencing. Just don’t forget that Marcus was a child, a child with a potential for some type of life. A child who deserved love, care and attention. Who deserved protection from himself and others.
Scared Monkeys has been blogging about the search for Marcus and the arrests of David and Liz Carroll. You can find those posts here and here and here(the now infamous Liz left a comment on the post at the second link):
Anthropologists are studying the ashes to determine if they are actually the remains of Marcus.
Video of the foster mother’s press conference, before Marcus was found.
Prosecutors speak at a press conference, additional charges of inducing panic and false alarm against the Carroll’s, and a charge of perjury against Liz Carroll for allegedly making false statements to the Grand Jury. Prosecutor’s are expecting that they will be filing murder charges, but filed the voluntary manslaughter charge in order to be able to hold the Carroll’s.
More details about the murder. Allegedly Marcus was bound with a blanket with his hands behind his back. The blanket was secured with packing tape. He was then put into the closet. Allegedly this wasn’t the first time he had been bound with the blanket, though it was the first time he was put into the closet.
Allegedly several trips were made to the burn site, to continue the burning and then at some point the remains were gathered up and taken to the river and dumped.
There is much more in the video clips than there is in the written articles.
More details about the allegations of domestic violence and the treatment of the children in the home, came out in the custody hearing for the 4 biological children today.
Also allegations that Liz and David Carroll “have consistently failed to accurately report the number of persons living in their home (to the Clermont County Department of Job and Family Services), thus falsely receiving thousands of dollars from the government.”
A poem by L. Wilson for Marcus over at From Whispers To Roars
What the Carroll’s were paid to provide care for Marcus? $1000 per month.
David and Liz Carroll have been indicted on 7 felony charges in Clermont Co. the county in which it is believe that Marcus lost his life. The indictments are for murder, involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping, felonious assault, and three counts of endangering children. David Carroll is also charged with gross abuse of a corpse.
Documents were given to the press about how the Carroll’s presented themselves to Lifeway. Amy Baker was one of the references they used.
Donna Trevino, mother of Marcus Fiesel has filed a lawsuit against David and Liz Carroll, Butler Co. Commissioners, Butler Co. Children’s services, Lifeway for Youth, and Amy Baker.
Pointing fingers and what can be done for prevention.
The right to sue.
18 fragile bone fragments are what have been found of what are believed to be Marcus Fiesel’s remains. Coroner O’Dell Owens says the fragments were small enough to fit in the palm of one hand. Coroner Owens says the fragments were from the wrist and orbital bones and there was enough growth plate there to determine they were from a child 3-5 years in age. Some clothing fragments and button material were also found and soil samples indicated that gasoline had been used in the burning, which matched witness statements.
Authorities are still searching the river area for any additional remains.
Coroner Owens mentioned that we should keep all of the children in mind and he discussed the case of Milton Baker, a little 7 year old boy who was allegedly beaten to death by his mother’s boyfriend. Milton Baker was beaten and hospitalized shortly before the search for Marcus Fiesel was begun. He was being treated for severe head injuries and multiple fractures and it was never thought he would survive. He did later die in the hospital. Fred Johnson, 35, has been charged with the murder.
Two little boys, different homes, different circumstances, different lives. Their commonality is that both of their lives were lost due to an action or inaction of an adult who was supposed to be responsible for their care.
One step being taken is that the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts is compiling a database of the names of foster parents so that if they are arrested in Hamilton County their names will be tagged and a notification can be made.
That is a good first step toward the protection of children in Hamilton Co. The irony is that Marcus was placed by Butler Co. and resided in Clermont Co. The article doesn’t indicate if the foster parent names they are collecting are only residents of Hamilton Co., placements made by Hamilton Co. (as an example- in foster care placements made by Hamilton Co. the foster care parents may actually reside in another county as Marcus did) or whether foster care parents who are taking foster children from other counties are being included.
Amy Baker will be in court on Monday for a custody hearing to try to regain her children. Children’s protective services state that the Carroll’s and Baker subjected their children to domestic violence. It is reported that Baker is now jobless and homeless.
A former Butler County ombudsman speaks out about the Butler County Children’s Protective Services Board. According to her, during her employment she made a number of suggestions for changes to the board, and to her knowledge none of them were ever implemented.
A Reverend representing the board made the statement “Marcus Fiesel will not be the last child to die in Butler County.”
The Reverend’s statement at first raised my anger. But he does have a point. No matter how careful the checks on persons applying to be foster parent, some things do not change. People do lie for their own benefit. So even a careful check of the person’s background may fail to reveal certain things about the person, because the agency doesn’t know to look (reportedly the medical submitted by the Carroll’s did not reveal that David Carroll had bipolar disorder). And no matter how clean the record, people do sometimes change or react badly over stressers in their life. There have been many lives lost in domestic situations from persons who were thought to be good parents, good husbands, all round good persons.
However, there are many things an agency can do. Through research on the background of the applicants along with a prompt response to complaints, a prompt response to calls for respite for the foster parents, and a good system of checks and balances (which should be ongoing) for the foster home would help. Unannounced visits to the foster home. Better communication with the courts and other agencies who might come into contact with the foster parents.
The custody hearing for Amy Baker’s children has been continued until next month. Reportedly the children are now being cared for by a court appointed legal guardian. Reportedly the hearing was continued because her husband Brian is wants a separate attorney for the case. The case has been continued until next month.
Information on the birth mother, Marcus and his siblings were removed from her twice. In court hearings over the last removal the attorney for the birth mother told the court that Trevino did want her other children back, but that she did not want Marcus.
Liz Carroll’s murder trial is set for Jan. 22 in Clermont Co. and she has another hearing due in Hamilton County for the charges she is facing there.
David Carroll’s trial is also in Clermont Co. in February, he is also being tried in Hamilton Co. for the other charges.
I seemed to have missed this before. It seems that prior to the gag order, a defense attorney made an allegation that Amy Baker may have had a major role with the murder.
David and Liz Carroll were not present at the hearings in Hamilton Co. on the charges of inducing panic, making false reports and perjury. But their attorneys were. They are petitioning the court requesting a change of venue and other motions.
Hearings on those motions will be held on Oct. 30 and 31 for David Carroll and Nov. 1 and 2 for Liz Carroll.
I just hope the judge will keep in mind that the publicity on the case began when the Carroll’s requested help finding a child they knew wasn’t missing, and most of the media attention didn’t really begin until after Liz Carroll’s press conference. In other words, they requested the attention from the community. Now allow the community to follow through.
Prosecutors have said that Marcus was bound with the blanket before, but did not elaborate. Now they are saying “It became fairly routine for them to tie up Marcus with tape and a blanket and leave him in a closet while they did their daily chores,” “They also inflicted severe discipline on him.”
The bones that remained were so small and had been burned, Brown County Coroner has stated that it is questionable whether they will be able to obtain any DNA from them. Hamilton County is doing the testing and the report is expected sometime this week. However, Hamilton County Coroner has stated that DNA should not be a determining factor in the case, as there is a witness. And that some factors in her account have been proven, such as that gasoline was used in burning his body.
Donna Trevino is going back to court to obtain custody of her other two biological children. The magistrate has ruled the hearing will be open to the public.
Dated Oct. 5 According to Amy Baker’s father, the way that Amy Baker met the Carroll’s was when Clermont County approved Liz Carroll as the day care provider for Amy Baker’s children. Reportedly Brown Cty. also later approved the couple.
Dated Oct. 13 The “star witness” Amy Baker was arrested in Brown Cty the last week of Sept. Allegedly she was drinking with a teen at the Brown Cty Fair. She was arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
What I find especially interesting about those two articles, is that the first article is dated Oct. 5 and doesn’t mention the arrest at the Brown Cty fair which ended on the previous Sat. Sept. 30. Amy Baker’s father had said in the article that Amy was not doing well, I wonder if that was part of it.
Liz Carroll has been ruled competent to stand trial in both Clermont Co. and Hamilton Co. Courts.
The transcript to Liz Carroll’s Grand Jury testimony. In it she first tells the original story, then she appears to basically admits to the present allegations. She also made some allegations against Amy Baker.
wcpo.com (this is a .pdf document)
Though Carroll does appear to have made allegations about Baker, I do have to caution. Carroll did give two versions of what happened to the court, and both could not be true. So that should be considered when reading about the other allegations that she made.
Liz Carroll’s attorney again asking for a change of venue. He is alleging that the media coverage of the Grand Jury testimony have made it impossible for Carroll to get a fair trial in Clermont County.
There is an interesting story about how the testimony came to be released to the media.
The Carroll’s are alleged to have wrapped Marcus Fiesel in a blanket and left him alone for a day and a half or two days while they went out of state. That is alleged to have occurred in Clermont County. David Carrolll is alleged to have taken the child’s body to Brown County and burned his body to ashes. Then Liz Carroll is alleged to have gone to a park in Hamilton and starting the chain of events that resulted in Marcus Fiesel being reported missing.
Because part of the alleged illegal actions happened in Clermont County and part in Hamilton County and part in Brown County, the trial was split with some charges being tried in Hamilton Co. and some charges being filed in Clermont Co.
As part of a defense strategy, the defense counsel in Hamilton Co. made a motion to the court to have Liz Carroll’s Grand Jury testimony thrown out. As a result, the Grand Jury testimony was entered into the public record.
Now the Clermont Co. defense is saying that the release of the Grand Jury testimony has prejudiced his client’s case and that she cannot get a fair trial in Clermont Co. Prosecution attorneys of course refute that. There is a gag order on the case in Clermont Co. but not in Hamilton Co.
Personally, I came across this case following Liz Carroll’s public plea for information to find Marcus. Not because of the Grand Jury testimony. And I don’t live in either Hamilton Co. or Clermont Co. After it came to my attention I have followed the case and read many of the articles on it.
But I would hope that even after reading it, I would be able to still follow a trial, and make a judgement as to guilt or innocence based on what I heard in the trial testimony, since I tend to forget details a short while after I read them. Nor do I believe that I or anyone else would be likely to ignore evidence presented at trial, whether it was presented by the prosectution or the defense. And I don’t believe that I am the only person with that capability.
But I don’t live in Hamilton or Clermont County. So maybe they will bring the trial to my county. Maybe I could sit on jury. I could be fair!
Defense attorneys are supposed to work in their clients best interests. As the Hamilton County attorney put forth the motion which resulted in the Grand Jury testimony being placed in the public record, then maybe they should be looking at him as to whether he was working in his client’s best interest.
But his choice of a defense strategy and the Carroll’s decision to go with public statements over the disappearance of Marcus Fiesel should not prejudice the public’s right to a fair hearing and trial of the accused before a jury of their peers- the same peers whose assistance they requested when they were allegedly attempting to cover up his murder.
Both Clermont County and Hamilton County have ruled to allow the Grand Jury testimony. Hamilton County is also allowing the press conference in which Liz Carroll pleaded for help in finding Marcus to be entered into evidence.
wcpo.com middletownjournal.com news.enquirer.com
Extensive coverage on the case, several of the TV stations have devoted special sections of their site to the trials of Liz Carroll and David Carroll and the search for justice for Marcus Fiesel’s death. In those sections will be extensive trial coverage.
Local 12 Live streaming video coverage, as well as community discussion.
WCPO Live streaming video coverage, as well as blogging the trial.
Channel 5 Live streaming video coverage as well as blogging the trial.
The crime was horrific, the trial will be difficult. May God be with the jurors as they listen to the evidence and testimony and bring justice for Marcus.
One of our own Bloggers who did extensive blogging on the Ricky Holland case will also be blogging the trial in The End of the Story
State of Ohio vs. Liz Carroll The witnesses were heard, the evidence viewed. And a verdict has been reached.
On the charge of murder, the verdict is guilty. On the charge of manslaughter, the verdict is guilty. On the charge of kidnapping, the verdict is guilty. On the charge of felonious assault, guilty. On the three charges of endangering children, guilty. Sentencing to be held tomorrow.
wcpo.com wlwt.com local12.com
During the sentencing phase more information came out about the defendant and allegations as to the treatment of the children in the home. Liz Carroll spoke and denied all charges. The judge noted her lack of remorse for Marcus during the proceedings.
Sentencing: murder 15- life manslaughter 10 years to be served concurrently kidnapping 10 years to be served consecutively felonious assault 8 years to be served consecutively child endangerment 2 counts 8 years, one count is 5 years- to be served consecutively
concurrent means the time is to be served at the same time as other charges, consecutively means that the time is to be added on and to be served after the time for the other charges has been exhausted. Total 54 years to life.
David Carroll entered a plea of guilty. The judge requested a statement about the events from him and in that statement he stated that he was present when Marcus was bound in the blanket. He also alleged that Amy Baker is more involved than what is known. He also alleged that Amy Baker threatened him and his family if they called the police and said that Amy Baker is the one who came up with the story about the disappearance and they went along.
The prosecutor pointed out that according to both Liz Carroll’s and Amy Baker’s statements, David Carroll is the only one of the three who showed any concern for Marcus after they left.
The judge sentenced 15 years to life for the murder and 1 year for the gross abuse of a corpse.