Monday, February 29, 2016

Jessica Foster

Jessica Robin Foster
January 31, 1978 - July 24, 1981
Jessica Robin Foster was born on January 31, 1978 to Bobby and Robin Foster. When Jessica was three and a half years old, she was found at the bottom of an in-ground pool during a family cookout at her mother's aunt's home. By the time Jessica was found, she had been under the water too long and she had passed away due to drowning.

Jessica Lunsford

Jessica Marie Lunsford
October 6, 1995 - February 24, 2005
Jessica Lunsford lived with her father, Mark Lunsford, and her grandparents, Ruth and Archie. Mark set his alarm for five in the morning every day so that he could arrive at work on time. Jessica set her alarm for the same time so she could get up to go to school on time. On the morning of February 24, Mark noticed that Jessica's alarm went off and she had never turned it off. He went to go to her room, expecting to find her asleep in her bed. Instead, he found her bed empty.
Mark searched all over his home for Jessica. He called out her name while he searched, but she didn't answer. Eventually he realized that his front door was unlocked. Soon after he made this disturbing discovery, he called the police. Many people began searching for Jessica. Investigators began scanning through the list of nearby sexual predators. In doing so they found one, John Couey, who had not notified police of his address change as he was supposed to. It was found that he had moved in with his half-sister. Investigators searched the home and found nothing, however they didn't search the closet that they later found out was where John had been staying.
Nineteen days after Jessica initially went missing, police returned to the home. They searched the closet this time, but still found nothing. They did find a blood stain on the mattress that John had been sleeping on which made them change his status to "person of interest". Even so, they couldn't locate John to question him. The people he was living with offered no assistance in finding him.
John had left the area and was staying at a homeless shelter. Since he was a person of interest, news channels began showing pictures of him to try and locate him. A secretary at the homeless shelter recognized him and notified the police. He was questioned for hours but he continued to say that he had no knowledge of anything relating to Jessica. The next day, John was given a polygraph. During the polygraph he confessed that he had something to do with Jessica's kidnapping. He also told investigators that he could lead them to Jessica's body.
John admitted that he had went into Jessica's home around three in the morning. He said that he was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. He found Jessica in her room and told her to be quiet and ordered her to follow him back to the home he was staying in. Jessica listened and didn't try to resist, according to John. Police suspect this is the truth because there were no signs of any struggle in Jessica's room.
John admitted that he raped Jessica that night, and then again in the morning. She was forced to stay in the same bed as John inside of the closet, and she also was forced to stay with him while watching stories on the news about her own disappearance. Jessica was locked in the closet for three days, unable to come out to use the bathroom, get food, or get fresh air. John panicked when he learned that investigators suspected he might have something to do with Jessica's disappearance.
In mid March of 2005, John showed the investigators the shallow grave he had put Jessica in. It was nearby the trailer he was living in with his sister. Inside the grave, Jessica's body was found in two trash bags. She was clutching her favorite purple dolphin toy, and her wrists were tied together. Even though her wrists were tied together, she had managed to press two of her fingers through the garbage bags in an attempt to escape, proving that she had been buried alive, although investigators believe that she passed away due to suffocation only about three to five minutes after she was initially put inside of the bags. It was found that she hadn't eaten since at least twelve hours before her death, but possibly days before her death. It was also found that she had been sexually assaulted around six hours before she passed away. Traces of cocaine were found in her body. She had not ingested it in anyway, but she had definitely been around it before she passed away.
In late August of 2007, John was given the death penalty for kidnapping, sexually assaulting, and murdering Jessica. In late September of 2009, John died naturally in prison after being ill for a significant period of time.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Savannah Hardin

Savannah Hardin
February 6, 2003 - February 21, 2009
Savannah Hardin passed away after being forced to run for hours by her grandmother, Joyce Garrard. She was forced to run while carrying firewood because when she got off the school bus, the bus drive told her grandmother that Savannah had eaten a candy bar. She wasn't supposed to have eaten the candy bar, as her grandmother said that eating sweets made Savannah wet the bed. Savannah did have a bladder issue that was common in little girls that just meant that she wasn't supposed to be consuming caffeine.
After the bus driver told Joyce that Savannah had eaten the candy bar, even though Savannah lied and said she had not, Joyce told the bus driver, "I'm going to run her. I'm going to run her until she can't run no more." Savannah was forced to run for three hours while carrying logs. Several neighbors witnessed this. At one point, Savannah was crawling on the ground begging to be allowed to stop and rest. She looked at her step-mother until her grandmother told her, "Don't you look at her. She's not going to help you."
Savannah was forced to continue running. Finally, she was allowed to stop when it was clear that all of her running had been severely hazardous to her health. Finally, Savannah's stepmother, Jessica Hardin, called 911 and said that Savannah was no longer responsive and she was having a seizure. Unfortunately, by then, it was far too late. Savannah passed away. Her autopsy revealed that she was extremely dehydrated and she had very low sodium levels. Her death was classified as a homicide.
Witnesses at the hospital say that Joyce and Savannah's stepmother, Jessica, seemed to not care much about how Savannah was doing. They were seen repetitively going outside to smoke instead of checking on Savannah's condition. No family members were at Savannah's side until her father arrived. He was working far away, so it took him a while to be by his daughter's side. When he finally got there, he had to make the decision to take Savannah off life support.
Savannah's grandmother, Joyce, was found guilty of capital murder. She was sentenced to life in prison. In February of 2016, Joyce collapsed in prison and was taken to a hospital where she died.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Charlie and Braden Powell

Charles Joshua "Charlie" Powell
January 19, 2005 - February 5, 2012

Braden Timothy Powell
January 2, 2007 - February 5, 2012
Charlie and Braden's mother was known before they were. Their mother, Susan Powell, was last seen alive in December of 2009. Her husband, Josh Powell, was a person of interest in her disappearance. Josh was also Charlie and Braden's father. It was said that Josh was very, very controlling of Susan, and this caused relationship issues. Susan even filmed herself saying that she wanted it documented that she and Josh were having extreme marriage trouble and that if she died, it may not be an accident, even if it were to look like one.
After Susan disappeared, it was initially said that Susan, Charlie, and Braden were missing. Josh returned home with Charlie and Braden who were four and two years old at the time. Josh said that he had left Susan asleep and took his sons camping. He was questioned about Susan's disappearance more thoroughly, though Charlie, the older boy, confirmed that he and his brother had went camping with their father, but he also said that his mother had come with them, but did not come back with them. This is where his story differed from his father's.
After Susan's disappearance, Josh had also displayed activity that investigators found suspicious. He cancelled his wife's regularly scheduled chiropractic appointments. He also withdrew Charlie and Braden from their daycare. He had been talking to his coworkers about how to hide a body. The younger child, Braden, had drawn a picture at daycare of three people in a van. He had stated that "Mommy was in the trunk."
When Susan was never found, Chuck Cox, Susan's father, filed for custody of the children. The children had previously been living with their father and his father, Steve Powell. Steve had been charged with voyeurism and child pornography. It was also said that he was sexually interested in Susan and had previously exposed his own children to sexual imagery. The day after Steve was arrested was when Chuck first attempted to get custody of Charlie and Braden.
Chuck was granted temporary custody of Charlie and Braden. It was decided that if Josh wanted to get custody of his children again, he'd have to move out of his father's house. He rented a house away from his father, but it was seen that he never actually moved into the rented house, and was still living with his father. He had only rented the house to make it appear as if he was doing as he was told in order to get custody of his sons again.
In September of 2011, Josh's own sister revealed that she thought Josh was responsible for Susan's disappearance. His other sister had previously been suspicious of him too, but she later said that Josh had been harassed by the investigators. Josh continued to state that he was completely innocent and had nothing to do with Susan's disappearance.
On February 5, 2012, Charlie and Braden were brought to a visitation with their father. They were brought their by their social worker named Elizabeth. Elizabeth had been taking the boys to visitations with their father for around three months. They seemed to love visiting with their father. One of the boys even told Elizabeth that he wanted to live with his father full-time.
When the boys arrived on February 5, they excitedly got out of the car to meet their father. Josh gave Elizabeth an odd look and followed the boys into the house. He slammed the door shut. Elizabeth attempted to get inside, but Josh had locked the door. She heard Josh say, "Charlie, I've got a big surprise for you." Then she heard Braden scream.
Elizabeth was still trying to get into the house. She was telling Josh to let her in. She could smell gas and she was becoming more and more concerned as time passed. She went to her car to call 911, and then her supervisor. She told her supervisor that something terrible was happening. She was still on the phone with her supervisor when the house exploded.
Charlie, Braden, and Josh were all killed in the fire. It was later discovered that Josh had used a hatchet to cut the boys' heads and necks, which is probably why Elizabeth had heard Braden cry out while she was trying to get into the house. An autopsy confirmed that both boys were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning.
Josh had used ten gallons of gasoline to help ignite his home, He had also given away Charlie and Braden's toys shortly before their arrival that day. It is believed that the fire was lit almost as soon as the boys entered the house with their father. After the boys' deaths, their grandparents also said that there was evidence that boys had been sexually abused by Josh.
It is said that the boys were told to sleep naked together in the same bed as Josh, who was also naked. One of the boys also drew a picture of what appears to be an adult beside a child with the words, "Don't play with me!" written beside it. Braden had also been diagnosed with a fungal skin condition that can be sexually transmitted. The two boys had also began getting violent with each other. One day, they were taking a bath together and the older boy was holding the other boy's head underwater. Their grandparents believe this is all the product of how their father behaved in their presence. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Polly Klaas

Polly Hannah Klaas
January 3, 1981 - October 1, 1993
Polly Klaas passed away on October 1, 1993 when she was twelve years old. On that day, Polly had invited two of her friends over to her house for a slumber party. Later in the evening, a man they did not know entered Polly's bedroom. He had a knife. He tied up all three of the girls and put pillow cases over their heads. He asked Polly's friends to count to one thousand before doing anything else, and he left, taking Polly with him.
Polly's friends worked to untie themselves, but they were unable to. One girl was able to bring her hands under her feet so she could free herself. When she did, she went to Polly's mother's room to wake her up and tell her what happened. Polly's mother immediately called the police. People all over searched for Polly. A suspicious car was found by a babysitter on her employer's property. She reported it to the employer who phoned the police. They investigated the car but couldn't find anything that could arrest the owner. They told the property owner to file charges, but she declined. It was later found that the car belonged to the man who killed Polly.
Later, the same property owner was inspecting her property after trees had been cut down. She found items she thought may be connected to Polly. One of the items found was a torn pair of ballet leggings that matched Polly's. Later, the palm print of Richard Davis was found. He was arrested for kidnapping Polly.
Richard was interrogated by investigators while the search for Polly continued. More evidence continued to be found, but there was no evidence of Polly herself. On December 4, Richard confessed to kidnapping and killing Polly. He then led investigators to her body. He admitted that he had strangled Polly.
Richard was convicted of first degree murder, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, and a lewd act on a child. He was given the death sentence. He then held up his middle finger to the cameras and jury and told them that Polly's last words before she was killed was that her father had sexually molested her, which was not true. Polly's father now advocates for other children and helps parents of missing children.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Riley Fox

Riley Ann Fox
March 31, 2001 - June 6, 2004
In the morning of June 6, 2004, Riley and her brother, Tyler, were home with their father, Kevin Fox. Tyler was six years old and Riley was three years old. Tyler and Riley's mother, Melissa, wasn't home that weekend. She was in Chicago at a walk to raise awareness for breast cancer. That night, Kevin went to go pick up his children from their grandparents' home, as he had been at a street fair for most of the day.
When Kevin returned home with the children around one in the morning, he put them to bed in the living room and then went to sleep himself in his own bedroom. In the early morning, Tyler woke up and noticed that his sister was no longer in the living room with him. He woke up his father and informed him that Riley wasn't there. Kevin woke up and began searching for Riley around the house. After forty minutes of unsuccessful searching, Kevin called the police.
Everyone in the community began searching for Riley, and eventually, Melissa got the news and rushed home to try and find her daughter as well. Unfortunately, around three thirty in the afternoon, a searcher discovered Riley's body face-down in a creek just two and a half miles away from her home. The police were called and they took Riley's parents in for questioning before they told them about Riley's body having been found.
Later in the day, Riley's family learned that Riley had been sexually assaulted, bound/gagged with duct tape, and drowned. Her family agreed to provide DNA samples and be questioned. Kevin and Melissa allowed investigators to interview Tyler. They believed that in intruder had broken into their house and kidnapped Riley. Investigators were not so sure about this though, because the house showed no signs of a break-in. Police began to become interested in Kevin, and they suspected that he was the one to have killed his own daughter.
As time went on and nobody was arrested for Riley's murder, people grew more suspicious of Kevin. One day, both Kevin and Melissa were called in to talk to investigators. When they arrived, they were taken to different rooms. Kevin was interviewed for fourteen hours. The detectives told him that they had reason to believe he killed Riley. He denied everything they told him. He was asked to take a polygraph test, and he agreed, as he was confident that he would pass. When investigators told him he failed, he broke down and told them that he killed Riley.
Kevin said that he had woken up sometime in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. He said that he accidentally hit Riley with a door, causing her to fall and hit her head on the bathtub. He said he panicked, thinking he accidentally killed her, so he did something to make it seem like she had been sexually assaulted. Then he put duct tape over her mouth and drove her to the creek where she was found. Hours after Kevin made this confession, he was arrested.
Kevin told his family that his confession was false, and that after being held in the room for fourteen hours, he believed that giving a false confession was the only way he'd ever be able to get out of the room. Others began thinking that the confession was false too, and didn't think the polygraph proved much either. They said that it was known that a polygraph was not to be given after hours of interrogation, as that would skew the results. They also found the details of the confession to not really be accurate. The forensic evidence that Kevin had done what he said in his confession was also not there. 
Investigators struggled to find DNA on Riley's body since she had been in the water for so long. The blood and semen results came back negative, not helping to find out who Riley's true killer was at all. They continued to try and find some sort of DNA on Riley's body that would help them solve the crime though. It took eight months for them to do that.
Kevin sent eight months in jail before the test came back and ruled him out in his daughter's death. A man named Scott Eby was then charged with Riley's murder. He was a sex offender with many previous charges. He had went into the Fox house with the intention of robbing them, but happened to find Riley asleep on the couch. He kidnapped Riley and took her to a rest stop where he sexually assaulted her, and then killed her. His shoe was left at the crime scene, and it had "Eby" stitched into it.
Scott was charged with five counts of first degree murder and one count of predatory sexual assault. By the time the police realized Scott had killed and assaulted Riley, he was already serving two other consecutive seven-year sentences. He confessed to killing Riley and plead guilty to his counts, resulting in a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Previously, he had been out on parole and living about a mile from the Fox family.