Mother sues in death of Ohio foster child, 3
Authorities say the foster parents left him in a closet and went out of town.
SPRINGBORO, Ohio (AP) -- The mother of a 3-year-old developmentally disabled child who died in foster care filed a $5 million lawsuit on Tuesday against county officials, the foster parents and the agency that placed the boy.
Donna Trevino, of Middletown, alleges the defendants were negligent in failing to adequately supervise the placement and treatment of her son Marcus Fiesel, said her attorney, Kevin Hughes.
Prosecutors accuse Liz and David Carroll Jr. of wrapping the boy in a blanket and packing tape, putting him in a closet and leaving for a family reunion in Kentucky on Aug. 4. The boy was dead when the Carrolls returned in two days.
Prosecutor say David Carroll, 29, burned the boy's body, possibly dumping some remains in the Ohio River.
Both are being held in Hamilton County jail in Cincinnati on $10.1 million bond each on charges that include involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors plan to seek murder indictments today in Clermont County, where the Carrolls lived at the time of the boy's death.
Besides the Carrolls, the defendants in the case in Butler County Common Pleas Court are the county commissioners and the county's Children Services department, and Lifeway for Youth Inc., the private agency that placed the child. Amy Baker, a woman who lived with the Carrolls and is credited with helping investigators, also is a defendant.
On Aug. 15, Liz Carroll, 30, took her 2-year-old son, a 1-year-old foster child and another 1-year-old she was baby-sitting to a park in Hamilton County. She told deputy sheriffs that Marcus Fiesel had been with her and apparently wandered away when she fainted because of a heart condition.
Hundreds of searchers helped authorities look for the boy for four days.
"The Carrolls did this for the money; that's why they were watching Marcus," Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said Friday. "I'm just sick that people keep using Marcus for a check."
Removed from mother
Children Services removed Marcus Fiesel and two other children from Trevino's home in April. Middletown police had responded to the home at least twice, including once in January when the boy fell from a roof after he climbed through a second-floor window.
"If she would have paid attention half as much to Marcus as she's doing now, we wouldn't be in this situation today," Deters said Friday. "She should mourn her child, but to angle this for money, I think, is outrageous."
Dawn Grady, a Children Services spokeswoman, said Tuesday that officials had not seen the lawsuit and had no comment.
"We're looking for accountability for the persons involved in the death of Marcus," Hughes said. "It's unfortunate that Donna Trevino has been evilized for bringing the claim, but she is, unfortunately, the only one with the ability to bring the claim. She has lost the life and affection of her son."
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has asked all 88 county Children Services boards to check on children placed in foster homes through Lifeway for Youth.
Michael Berner, executive director of Lifeway for Youth, has said the Carrolls lied and misled his organization about their employment and living arrangements.