January 30, 2002 - April 16, 2009
Gabriel was born on January 30, 2002 to Candace Myers and Rocky Newman. Candace had tested positive for drugs while she was in labor with Gabriel. Hospital staff also caught her washing Gabriel, a newborn, in cold water, covering up Gabriel completely with blankets, and snorting crushed pills. She had never been charged with any child abuse or neglect before, but her ability, or lack of ability, to care for a child was a major concern.
On February 6, 2002, Candace was put on a plan for future drug treatment. In May of 2002, Candace's parents were given temporary custody of Gabriel. Gabriel seemed to be doing fine until June 29, 2008. This is when a report came in that Candace had a large amount of Xanax and other unknown pills. The reporter said that Candace seemed to be dozing off and under the influence of something. She was also arrested for violating her probation. There was also an incident where Candace believed Gabriel was inside of a car with her when, in fact, he was inside of a restaurant.
Another report was made the same day. This reporter said that they believed Gabriel was being sexually abused. Police investigated and found Candace with cocaine, marijuana, non-prescribed medication, and alcohol. She was in a parked, running car. She was unconscious. Gabriel, as well as his dog, were inside of the car with Candace. Gabriel was taken for medical treatment.
After an investigation, it was believed that Gabriel had not been sexually abused. He said that nobody had touched him inappropriately. Investigators did find bite marks on him, and bruises, but were unsure if they were caused by abuse or not. Candace tested positive for drugs and alcohol. Candace was listed as responsible for Gabriel being exposed to drugs. He was removed from his mother's home and placed with a foster family. He was given Adderall by prescription, and he reported that when he was in the care of his mother, he administered his own medication.
When Gabriel was assessed in foster care, it was found that he was below average in his reading and math skills. They also believed he had ADHD. Gabriel reported that he fought at school and was disciplined at school a lot. Gabriel then reported to a clinician that someone had touched him underneath his clothing in "his bathing suit areas" in a way that made him uncomfortable, and that this had happened on more than one occasion.
Gabriel was placed in the foster home of John McGuigan. Gabriel was still able to have supervised visits with Candace and his father, Rocky. On July 3, Gabriel's maternal aunt and uncle were involved in a home study and it was recommended that Gabriel go live with them. On July 8, Gabriel moved in with Johnathon and Elizabeth Myers, his uncle and aunt.
A home visit on August 7, 2008 showed that Gabriel was having a few problems in school. He was still below average in his academic skills, but he was getting tutored. He also was still adapting to living with his aunt and uncle. He struggled with following the established rules of the house. He was also taken off Adderall until his doctor could evaluate him again. When this happened, he was diagnosed with ADHD and Impulse Control Disorder. Gabriel's counselor noted that he lied often, was impulse, and hyperactive. They also said he couldn't easily focus, had poor decision making skills, and lacked self control
By September, Gabriel seemed to be doing better in school. He behaved well and did well with both his teachers and his classmates. He still had trouble following rules at home, but he showed no signs of being abused again, and seemed to be improving. In October, however, a report came in that said Gabriel had been having trouble at school, and that he had been acting sexually inappropriate with other children at school. It was reported that Gabriel kissed other children and touched other children's bottoms and private parts. It was reported that Gabriel had also previously been sexually abused by a twelve year old child.
Gabriel was taken out of the custody of his aunt and uncle and was placed with John McGuigan. After Gabriel was re-placed, another report alleged that his uncle had "paddled" Gabriel on his bottom and that Gabriel had three bruises on his bottom due to this. When the doctor examined Gabriel, no bruises had been found. Gabriel told his foster father that his uncle had spanked him because he lied, stole food, and got kicked out of private school for touching other children. Gabriel also revealed that he sometimes thought about killing other people.
Gabriel was taken out of John's custody yet again and put with the foster home of Michael and Daver Gould. This lasted from October 24 to November 5. A home visit was done at John's house and Gabriel was given back to him. There were more incidents with Gabriel touching other children. Gabriel admitted that he had touched his peers, but all the girls he allegedly touched denied that anything had happened.
In December, Gabriel showed a number of alarming behaviors. He scratched his own neck very roughly. He initially told adults that someone else had done this when they questioned him about the injury, but then said that he had done it to himself. He also had been very disruptive in his class. In January of 2009, Gabriel's school bus driver witnessed another child reaching toward Gabriel's genitals. When the issue was addressed, Gabriel said that he had asked the other boy to touch his genitals. Later, he asked another child to take off his pants.
In February of 2009, John reported that Gabriel's behavior was deteriorating again. He also said that Gabriel lied to him, his teacher, and other adults. He said that Gabriel kept bringing action figures to school and disrupting the class, so he was going to take Gabriel's action figures. There was also an incident involving scissors, John suspected that Gabriel's behavior was becoming worse because his mother was going to be released from jail soon. Gabriel was reported to have lied, stolen, and forged a signature at school. Gabriel stole money from a classmate and begged the teacher not to call John and then begged the teacher to call his uncle because "Uncle J will punish me even worse, and that is what I deserve."
In March, because of Gabriel's behavior, John told him that he would not allow him to go on vacation, but that if Gabriel began displaying good behavior, he would get to go. Gabriel was unable to go on the vacation. He squirted red dye on other children and he told the other children that the dye was poison. He also became "out of control" on one occasion and threw many objects, including a television, onto the floor. He also threatened another child. Gabriel was taken off some of his medications and put on Symbyax for a mood disorder.
On March 20, 2009, Gabriel was taken out of John's care and put back into the care of Michael and Daver Gould. It was recommended that Gabriel be put into an Enhanced foster home that would specifically help him with sexual abuse related behaviors and trauma. Later in March, Gabriel was reported to have "gone after" another student and hit him in the face, as well as scratched his eye. On March 31, 2009, Gabriel's case manager received a call stating that Gabriel was out of control, destroying school property, and saying that he wanted to kill himself.
The case manager called the police and called Gabriel's maternal grandfather. His grandfather was asked to speak to Gabriel on the phone which seemed to calm him down. Daver, Gabriel's foster mother, was on her way to pick up Gabriel and take him to a psychiatrist. Gabriel had been with Michael and Daver for two weeks, which he told the psychiatrist. He also told the psychiatrist that he had anger problems.
Two days before Gabriel passed away, he had another problem at school. His foster father, Michael, instructed teachers to isolate Gabriel and let him calm down. This worked, and Gabriel took the bus to his after school care program. When Krystal Gould, Gabriel's foster sister, came to pick him up, she was told that Gabriel was disruptive and had to be isolated again. The next day, Gabriel had another problem at school where he destroyed more school property and had to be restrained. He was suspended from school.
Gabriel's therapist met with him in the cafeteria. He was alone, sitting at a table with his head down. He vomited some fluid and grabbed his thearpists' hand and told her, "My tummy hurts. I want to go home." Gabriel was taken to the doctor. He reported that nothing else hurt, and he didn't want to hurt himself.
On April 16, 2009, a 911 call was made stating that Gabriel, seven years old, had hung himself. When an officer arrived, someone was performing CPR on Gabriel. Gabriel was taken to a hospital where he passed away. The person who had called 911 was Michael Gould's adult son, Miguel. Miguel was the only adult in the home when Gabriel was found hanging in the home's bathroom. Gabriel had used the extendable shower head to hang himself. He had missed school because he felt sick, and Miguel had been watching him while Daver was at work.
It was reported that Miguel had prepared soup for lunch and Gabriel didn't want it and had become upset. Gabriel threw the soup in the trash and then went to his room. In his room, he threw his toys. Gabriel told Miguel that he was going to kill himself. Miguel called Daver and told her what Gabriel had said. Miguel went back to see Gabriel and discovered he was in the bathroom. Gabriel had locked himself inside. When Miguel finally managed to get inside the bathroom, by using a screwdriver, Gabriel was hanging and unresponsive. Miguel called 911 for help. A medical examiner confirmed that Gabriel had committed suicide by hanging himself.
An investigation was done to see if Gabriel's case had been properly handled. It was determined that none of Gabriel's foster parents had mistreated him in any way. There was conversation that the Gould family should not have left Miguel, nineteen, as a babysitter for Gabriel who was having complex behavioral issues. It is also unclear whether Gabriel hung himself with the intent to end his life, or whether he did it to seek attention, not being able to fully comprehend what would happen at only seven years of age.