Ashley Pond, 12 years, raped, murdered

  • By Michael Weitzman
  • 02 Feb, 2017

True Crime & Justice

On a stormy winter morning, Ashley Pond, 12, a seventh-grader at Gardiner Middle School, left her South Beavercreek Road apartment complex in Oregon City, OR about 8 a.m. on Jan. 9, 2002, for the school bus stop. Ashley did not make it to school.

It had been a rough year for Ashley and she carried around more pain in her short life than any child should. On January 5, 2001, just over a year before Ashley disappeared, her biological father, Wesley Roettger, Jr., was indicted on 40 counts of raping and sexually abusing her for over 4 years. The following March, Ashley told a friend that two men were molesting her. That same spring, Ashley's reading teacher, Linda Virden, at Gaffney Lane Elementary School, reported to the principal, Chris Mills, that Ward Weaver, 39, kissed Ashley on the lips when he dropped her off at school. Then in June and July Ashley joined Ward, his girlfriend, Tammy Place, her 8-year-old daughter, and Mallori, Weaver's 10-year-old daughter, on a two-week vacation to California. Then Ashley began living at their home. In early August: Ashley accused Ward of molesting her and moved out. Ashley told her reading teacher that Ward threatened to testify against her in her father's rape trial.

After learning of Ashley's allegations against Ward, Clackamas County deputy district attorney Chris Owen reported the child abuse to a hotline on August. 31st. The hotline report was forwarded to child welfare workers on Sept. 5th. Virden also called the child welfare office to report that Ashley told her that Ward abused her, tried to rape her, and threatened to testify against her. September 6, deputy district attorney, Owen, dropped all 40 counts against Roettger, who plead “no contest" to attempted unlawful sexual penetration. He was sentenced to 120 months probation.

Things seemed to be improving for Ashley that fall. During October and November, she seemed happier and more outgoing. However, a caseworker told police that child welfare received many calls about her and her family from concerned neighbors. That Christmas Ashley told her family she was afraid of Ward.

On January 9 2002, Ashley disappeared.

Police interviewed Weaver and his daughter, Mallori, the following day.

"Ward Weaver said he felt sorry for Ashley and tried to help her as much as he could, but then she accused him of touching her, and that was it," Viola Valenzuela-Garcia, Oregon City Detective reported.

Clackamas County sheriff's deputy Marty Neiman, a dog handler, searched the property around Ward Weaver's house; on Jan. 19th with a search dog, but Ward refused to allow them to search inside his home.

Two months after Ashley's disappearance, on March 8, 2002, 13-year-old Miranda Diane Gaddis, an eighth grader, another friend of Mallori's, disappeared after she left her apartment at 8 a.m. on her way to the school bus stop, sparking a nationwide FBI search. Massive searches turned up no clues.

Ashley and Miranda had attended the same school, rode the same bus, and were in the same dance class. Recently, on February 23rd, Miranda spent the night at the Weaver home for Mallori's, birthday.

Investigators were focusing on Weaver, who lived in a cheap rental home by the school bus stop where both girls were last seen. He seemed to be basking in the limelight. He invited television crews into his home to declare his innocence, and gave interviews on top of a concrete slab in his back yard.

On March 15th Harry Oakes, a private citizen, and his search dog, with permission from Lori Pond, offered to search the surrounding area. He was told by Weaver to “stay away from freshly laid concrete" because he doesn't “want it messed up." The dog gave a positive “death alert" behind the house.

Ward Weaver was arrested August. 13, 2002, at 5:30 p.m. in Clackamas, after his son's 19-year-old girlfriend ran off naked screaming that he tried to rape her. Francis told emergency dispatchers that his father admitted killing Ashley and Miranda.

While in custody, for attempted rape, a grand jury indicted Weaver of aggravated murder charges. FBI investigators secured his back yard with a chain-link fence.

Between August 24 and 25 2002, searchers found Ashley under the concrete slab in a barrel, and Miranda in a box in tool shed both on Weaver's property.
Weaver was charged with aggravated murder in the deaths.

Corvallis lawyers, Michael Barker and Peter Fahy Weaver's court-appointed attorneys asked to be removed from the case for unknown reasons, but ended up staying on.

Initially the defense claimed Weaver was mentally unfit to stand trial but after an evaluation at the Oregon State Hospital they informed Judge Herndon he had regained the capacity to assist in his defense.

Defense requested a change of venue claiming the media attention in the case tainted the jury pool, and was a detriment to a fair trial. Judge Herndon agreed with prosecutions arguments that Weaver intentionally sought out media attention and turned the investigation into a media circus. After Weaver gave numerous interviews to the media, Judge Herndon had issued a gag order.

While in jail, Weaver wrote letters to Mallori. In September he wrote, "You and me against the world," 2002. After being denied visits with his daughter in January 2004, Ward wrote a suicide note:

"I have spent this whole week trying to figure out how to make the pain (of my heart + soul not coming to see me) stop. I can only think of one thing. Cut my heart out and cut (off) the parts that hurt. She is my whole heart."

Jan. 11, 2004, Weaver was treated for razor wounds at Willamette Falls Hospital and released back to jail.

To avoid the death penalty, on September 2004, Weaver, 41, plead guilty to 17 counts, of rape, sex abuse, abuse of a corpse and killing Ashley and Miranda. He was sentenced to two life sentences without parole.

New York Times

Grief and Dread at Girls' Burial Site in Oregon

By DEAN E. MURPHY AUG. 27, 2002

The bad news for the family of Miranda Gaddis came over the weekend, when her remains were identified by the local authorities. Sadly, though, in a summer filled with reports of missing girls across the country, that was not the end of it for the grieving family.

Several of her relatives sat quietly today on the grass overlooking the place where Miranda, missing since March, is believed to have been killed. The rumble of a backhoe could be heard as investigators continued to dig up the backyard of a home rented until recently by Ward Francis Weaver III.

Mr. Weaver is the man the police have identified as the chief suspect in Miranda's death and in the disappearance in January of her friend Ashley Pond. Miranda's remains were found on Saturday in a shed behind the house; a second set of remains, found on Sunday in a barrel buried in the backyard, was confirmed tonight to be those of Ashley.

Both girls were 13 and lived in an apartment complex down the road from Mr. Weaver's home. The girls were friends with Mr. Weaver's daughter, Mallori, 13, and had attended sleep-over parties at the house.

''If he was capable of doing that to two girls and keep it secret for so long, he could have done it before,'' said Miranda's aunt, Terri Duffey. ''God only knows what is in the backyard. I hope nothing. I would not want to have any other family go through what we are going through.''

Mr. Weaver has not been named as a suspect in any other missing-persons cases. Yet these are sensitive and highly scrutinized times for authorities dealing with such cases, and with Mr. Weaver's unusual family history, the police are taking nothing for granted. Mr. Weaver's father, Ward Francis Weaver Jr., is on death row in California for murdering a young couple in 1981. In that crime, the elder Mr. Weaver buried one victim in his backyard.

In addition, the younger Mr. Weaver, who is 39, is in custody on charges of assaulting and raping the 19-year-old girlfriend of one of his sons.

''We know how important this case is to the community,'' said Greg Horner, the chief deputy district attorney for Clackamas County, which is seeking an indictment against Mr. Weaver in the case of the two girls. ''We will take time to do it right. We wanted to make sure that any action by the legal authorities, by law enforcement, was legally valid.''

Beth Anne Steele, a spokeswoman for the Portland office of the F.B.I., said investigators were combing the one-acre property with a handheld device with earth-penetrating radar. She said they were searching for anomalies in the geology. ''Voids where there shouldn't be voids, objects where there shouldn't be objects,'' she said.

By late afternoon, Ms. Steele said the device had not unearthed any additional human remains.

That did not keep Ms. Duffey and other friends and relatives, including one of Miranda's sisters, Miriah, from holding their quiet vigil across the street. Miriah, 12, did not speak with reporters and kept mostly to herself with a sweatshirt hood pulled tightly over her head. But once, when she pulled down the hood, her pale face and dark swollen eyes told the story of her family's ordeal.

With all the focus on Miranda and Ashley, Ms. Duffey said that Miriah and other friends and relatives were worried about Mallori, Mr. Weaver's daughter, who had been taken from his custody after the rape charges.

Miriah had not been in touch with Mallori since this weekend's news, she said.

''It must be breaking her little heart to know what happened to her friends, and then to think it was her dad who did it,'' Ms. Duffey said.

Nearby, several friends of Miranda and Ashley stopped for a moment to eat some chips and drink soda. They sat in the shade near an impromptu memorial to the girls along a chain-link fence outside the Weaver home.

It was like old times, Marissa Marquardt, 13, said. The girls often went across the street to buy junk food while hanging out with Mallori at the Weaver home, where only the father and daughter lived.

''We just stayed up all night watching scary, stupid movies,'' she said.

Some of the girls said they never felt threatened by Mr. Weaver. Some even came to think of the Weaver home as a safe house -- a refuge from the fear that the disappearance of their two friends had generated in recent months.

''I spent most of my days here,'' said Vanessa Schiel, 13, clutching a pink teddy bear. ''It was comfortable for me, but others were not. They thought Ward was just too quiet; he was too suspicious.''

Vanessa's mother was among those who voiced reservations about Mr. Weaver, but Vanessa ignored her warnings.

''After Ashley disappeared I wasn't supposed to go over there, but I still did,'' she said. ''I still went over after Miranda disappeared.''

Vanessa said she found a sense of safety in the police and media attention that was focused on the Weaver home. Mr. Weaver, while denying any involvement in the girls' disappearance, had told reporters that he was a suspect and he was often interviewed by local and national news organizations.

''I thought it was the safest place to be,'' Vanessa said. ''Mallori had so much love for him, I couldn't think of him doing this.''

Safe in the context of the Weaver home, and at least some of the visitors there, however, might not sound safe to many others. Both Ashley and Miranda had been sexually abused in the past, according to court records and family members, and Ashley had accused Mr. Weaver of abusing her, though he was not criminally charged.

In an interview last month on ''Good Morning America,'' Mr. Weaver admitted to failing a lie-detector test about the girls' disappearances. He also said he had taken in Ashley because of problems in her home, something Ashley's family has denied.

''They're trying to make a father and son connection here because my father has a severe history,'' he said in that interview. ''And so you've got that with, yes, my past and a little girl's accusations against me and, yeah -- I mean, they are looking at me and I have no problem with them looking at me as a suspect.''

With his media-friendly posture, Mr. Weaver seemed to present himself as a caring and good father who was the victim of a smear campaign by the authorities. The Oregonian reported that in an interview last month Mr. Weaver ''laughed off'' a question about a concrete slab he poured behind his house earlier this year. Ashley's remains, found on Sunday, were in a barrel buried beneath the concrete.

''I'm putting in a Jacuzzi,'' Mr. Weaver told The Oregonian. ''The last time I checked that wasn't against the law.''

In the end, however, it was Mr. Weaver's son, Francis, who turned on him after Francis's girlfriend said Mr. Weaver had raped her. Francis Weaver reportedly suggested that there might be a connection between his father and the two missing girls, the authorities said.

More than 20 years ago, in the murder cases against Mr. Weaver's father, a son -- Mr. Weaver's elder brother -- also helped the police solve the crime.



Ward Weaver III

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Miranda Gaddis )


Ward Weaver III mugshot. Oregon DOC  photo.

Ward Francis Weaver III  (born April 6, 1963) is a convicted felon . He is serving a life sentence without possibility of parole for sexual assault, rape, attempted murder, and the murders of Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis in Oregon City, Oregon . [1]

Murders of Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis

Miranda Gaddis (left) and Ashley Pond.

In August 1997, Weaver began an affair with a woman he met at work. They eventually moved into his rental house on South Beavercreek Road in Oregon City. Weaver's 12-year-old daughter became friends with Ashley Marie Pond  (born March 1, 1989) and Miranda Diane Gaddis  (born November 18, 1988.)

In August 2001, Ashley accused Weaver of attempting to rape her, but the police didn't investigate. On January 9, 2002, Ashley disappeared on her way to school. Friends and family, including Miranda, began to search for her.

Two months later, on March 8, Miranda vanished. Neither girl was ever seen alive again. After the girls vanished, Weaver (with the help of his son) dug a hole in his yard and covered it with concrete ; Weaver told his son it was a pad for a hot tub .

On August 13, Weaver was arrested for attempted rape of his son's 19-year-old girlfriend. Upon calling 9-1-1, Weaver's son told emergency dispatchers that his father admitted killing Ashley and Miranda. On the weekend of August 24–25, FBI agents found the remains of Miranda Gaddis in a microwave box in the storage shed. The next day they found the remains of Ashley Pond in a 55-gallon drum beneath the concrete slab in his backyard.

News coverage

Portland Tribune  reporter Jim Redden got two tips early on – one from Linda O'Neal, a private investigator and a relative of Pond – which prompted him to interview Weaver. [3]  Weaver told Redden that he was the FBI's prime suspect, at a time when it was generally believed there was no such suspect. [4]

KATU  television news reporter Anna Song (now Canzano)  conducted an interview with Weaver prior to his arrest. During the interview, Weaver stood on top of the concrete slab where Ashley Pond was buried. [5]

O'Neal went on to write a book about the case. [6]  The book was somewhat fictionalized, featuring composite characters and reconstructed conversations. O'Neal contended that the substance of the book was accurate, but the FBI criticized the book, and took exception to O'Neal's characterization of how the case was solved. [3] [7]


On October 2, 2002, Weaver was indicted and charged with: six counts of aggravated murder ; two counts of abuse of a corpse in the second degree; one count of sexual abuse  in the first degree; one count of attempted rape in the second degree; one count of attempted aggravated murder ; one count of first degree attempted rape; one count of sexual abuse in the first degree; one count of sexual abuse in the second degree; and two counts of sexual abuse in the third degree

In 2002, Governor John Kitzhaber  launched a multi-agency investigation into the handling of the first report of Weaver's abuse of Pond. [2]

In September 2004, Weaver pleaded guilty to two charges and no-contest to the rest. A plea bargain  allowed him to avoid the death penalty . He was sentenced to two life sentences  without parole .

By Michael Weitzman 05 Aug, 2017

Bradenton Herald

January 18, 2017 2:56 PM

By Michael Weitzman 05 Aug, 2017

BY Kerry Burke   Mary Mcdonnell   Graham Rayman   Larry Mcshane


Updated: Saturday, January 28, 2017, 4:06 AM

It took city officials five months to confirm what neighbors suspected immediately: 3-year-old Caleb Rivera  was a murder victim.

“I had an idea,” said Nikki Whatley, 39, who performed CPR on the gaunt little boy outside their East Harlem apartment building last August.

“I still see that boy’s eyes in my nightmare and in my dreams,” said Whatley, the mother of four. “That boy was lifeless when I got to him.”

Caleb’s death was declared a homicide Friday after the city medical examiner determined he was killed by multiple blows to the head and neck.

The boy’s mother, who was in their apartment with two men when Caleb was mortally injured, insisted she had no idea who was to blame for her son’s killing.

“I am not talking to anybody about anything,” mom Alexandra Guzman said from behind the door of her apartment on Friday. “I am not giving up anything. Why are you harassing me?”

Asked specifically who killed little Caleb Rivera, the mother answered, “Nobody. It was — have a good day. Nobody. That is the only answer you’ll get from me.”

Construction worker Adrian Rivera, 24, the child’s father, said he’s suspected for months that Guzman was hiding something.

“He was a happy healthy baby and I loved my baby,” he said. “They should both go to jail. I want to know: Did he do this and then she covered up? If the police won’t do something, I will.”

Rivera said after he and Guzman broke up, she barred him from seeing Caleb. He said he begged her to bring the baby to his mother’s house. “She wouldn’t. I texted her the week before (Caleb died): ‘Please bring me my baby.’ She said she was good where she was. She wouldn’t bring him to me, and then this happened.”

By Jane Alvarez 30 Jul, 2017

             April, Child Abuse Awareness month, has passed. It went by without any comment from the Director of Social Services, Ted Myers (“…blood is thicker than water…”, or attorney Andrew Wolf, (“…we do the legally correct thing…”).

            During television interviews with Santa Barbara’s KEYT-TV a few of years ago on the question raised by a Ventura County Star editorial regarding the whereabouts of Mario,  these gentlemen, in making the above statements,  attempted to explain why Social Service workers, and an a child advocate attorney advocate and/or permit the re-unification of an abused child with its abuser(s).  Mario was a toddler beaten into a coma by his mother.  Social workers reunified Mario with his mother even though he continued to be abused. 

            We have heard, and continue to hear, numerous times that Social Services’ purpose is to protect children from abuse. The child’s advocate in Court is supposed to also protect their right to freedom from abuse. Neither succeeds.

            And the reason they do not is revealed by their statements. Their hands are tied. Mr. Wolf is correct, re-unification is the legally correct thing to do, never mind that questions of ethics and morality are raised by the re-unification of a person who lacks love and parenting skills with a child who is helpless to speak for or defend himself.  

            And, yes, though it is a convenient and telling euphemism, blood is thicker than water. It merely goes to prove the point that a tiny human feels a craving for and needs love from the only caregiver it has known from birth. Though the child bonds, the adult may not want to or cannot commit to a responsibility.

            Congress, in its infinite wisdom, saw the tragedies brought about by the abuse of children. They saw not only the physical and emotional effects, but also acknowledged that deaths of children were sometimes the outcome of such conduct. They further saw the financial toll upon society, not only for the treatment of the physical and emotional injuries, but upon the fact that some of these children become a financial burden rather than positive contributors to society. As Congress does best they began the battle against child abuse by passing laws, in this case, Title 42 of the United States Code, Chapter 67, Section 5106a.

            This released money to fund Social Services and created responsibilities to fund programs. It created a confidentiality clause to protect not only the child’s identity and reputation but also that of the abuser. It required every State to pass a law saying that re-unification of the abused with its abuser was not required. But it also stated that despite a parent or caregiver having killed or assaulted a child the State (read as Judge), could, on a case by case basis, reunify a child of the sibling with the killer or abuser. Congress sat back; it had passed a law to protect children.

            In other words, blood is thicker than water and re-unification is the legally correct thing to do, regardless of what further injuries the child will suffer. 

By Jane Alvarez 30 Jul, 2017

 I recently attended a meeting where I listened to gut-wrenching stories from adults who feared for the safety of their children who were reporting sexual crimes against them by family members. As the founder of The Children’s Wall of Tears™, these stories are not new to me as I hear hundreds of cases each year.

  • When there is testimony from children telling of abuse, and no one is charged with the crime, I wonder why there are so many deaf ears.
  • When there are written notes from therapists saying the child is a credible witness and the child still remains in the home with the abuser,
 I wonder where the justice is for this child. Who are these social workers and judges who overlook these very important facts? Does the family unit come before the child’s safety? Remember the attorney who said, “ We don’t do what is in the child’s best interest. We do the legally correct thing. ” (KEYT-TV documentary “Where’s Mario?” between me & court appointed child attorney.)
  • Re-define the family unit. A family unit doesn’t burn, beat, break bones, starve, scald, kill or sexually molest their children.
  • Define child abuse as the crime it is.  Child abusers are criminals. It is not a family problem. If I slap you, you can have me arrested. If I injure you, I can be charged with a felony assault. Why is it that we beat, burn, break bones, scald, starve, sexually molest our children and it is a family problem?
  •  Hold judges and social workers accountable when they continually reunify defenseless children with their abusers and the child continues to suffer. Police officers are held accountable when their actions cause injury or death,  yet, judges and social workers have a great deal of information PRIOR to their decisions when they reunify an abused child with their abusers and the child(ren) dies, they are not held accountable. 
  • Lift the cloak of confidentiality from judges and social services. CPS decline to comment about its actions, citing confidentiality.    Many say, “We can do better.” I say, “Why aren’t we doing better?”
By Jane Alvarez 30 Jul, 2017

      Recently Leo and I visited the great city of Oklahoma and toured the Oklahoma Bombing Memorial.  Without a doubt, this memorial strengthened our faith in the American people, our patriotism and our feelings against terrorism. We could not help but walk away from this great monument with a passion that undoubtedly carved our futures. Throughout our tour of the memorial we could not help but think about the 168 lives lost in this horrific event. There was one particular photo on the wall of the daycare center showing children that were signed-in that fateful day. It haunts us. What madman would callously murder innocent children, let alone adults?

     We read every sign and studied every photo in the museum.  We were overwhelmed with sadness and rage at the very same time.  We began to systematically think about terrorism and what it really means and how it affects our lives.



the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.

          2.  the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terroization.

          3.  a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

     Terrorism begins with creating a fear within the victim and escalates quickly to injury and in many cases death. Until September 11, 2001, few Americans were aware that terror existed beyond that seen on movies or on TV.   After 911, we became aware of our vulnerability to suffering at the hands of people who find it acceptable to inflict pain on innocent people without blinking an eye. The bombing in Oklahoma City  traumatized this great nation. We were forced to face the anxiety of knowing that at any time, in any place, violence can strike, and in that respect, we are now victims of terrorism.

            While we feel a deep sadness for the victims of the attacks in New York City and Washington D.C., the plane crash in Pennsylvania and their families and the Oklahoma City Bombing and their families, who have lived to suffer the devastating pain of the loss of a loved one, we began to think about the children here in the United States who live under this anxiety every day. How did we overlook their terrorism?   Most call it child abuse. We call it child cruelty.

            In child’s world, violence comes not at the hands of politically motivated extremists, but from their parents or caregivers. Suffering comes not from weapons of mass destruction, but fists, belts, scalding water, locked in dark closets, and cruel words. Attacks are not a rare occurrence, but a daily reality. Knowing that it is coming is the epitome of terrorism especially since a child is incapable of defending himself and does not know where to turn to avoid the torture and pain of neglect or abuse.

            We kept thinking about the fact that while we watched news coverage of buildings crumbling and thousands of terrified, innocent people running for their lives, young spirits are being crushed at the hands of heartless adults with no high-profile media coverage to spark a country to awareness and action. Yes, we occasionally see, hear and read of young victims being abused or killed, but, few people are moved to act. The usual response to such news is an “…Oh, no!...” statement, and then on to breaking news.

            While troops of rescue workers sift through debris in a desperate attempt to recover victims, young children are cowering in corners after yet another merciless beating, wondering if anyone cares enough to rescue them. While an entire nation mourns for the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks and the Oklahoma City Bombing, abused children continue to suffer horrifically with no tears of sadness shed on their behalf. Is it apathy on the part of the general public? Apparently so. we don’t see any great rush of humanity at the breaking story of another child being beaten or killed. Nor do we see more than platitudes from public officials or legislators. Yes, you will hear comments that such and such should be investigated. You hear that so and so is understaffed, overworked, and over whelmed but you do not hear from the front line workers who deal with child abuse on a daily basis.

            For the past 25 years, we have been working to increase America’s awareness to the horrors of child cruelty and to bring the reality of the unimaginable level of physical and mental suffering these children deal with to the forefront.

           We have written numerous commentaries and letters to the editors of newspapers and given speeches and talks to various groups and organizations. We have spoken in Washington, D.C. before a distinguished group of professionals and even sponsored a law in the California Legislature to provide computerized criminal history to child protective service workers so that they do not reunify the child with criminals.  Unfortunately, that law failed in the appropriations department.  Apparently $50,000 for the entire State of California is not worth protecting children.  We have spent anguished hours over the opposition we have received and welcomed the pats on the back. But, child cruelty continues and children continue to live the daily terror awaiting the next blow.

            Statistics show that everyday, scores of children are terrorized by abusive parents and that list continues to grow each year. Every 10 seconds a child is abused. Every 5 hours a child is killed. In cold, hard terms that means that every day a small hand is held over a flame, an infant is dipped in scalding water, a child is forced to swallow household cleansers, an empty stomach grumbles while parents eat, a terrified toddler trembles in a dark, locked closet, a tiny arm is broken, a life comes to a premature end. The scenes of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were difficult to look at, but, they can’t compare to the scenes that flash in front of the small eyes of an abused child.

            I leave it to you to decide if a child, under these circumstances, is experiencing not only terror but wondering when it all will end.

            The unified resolve shown by the American people following the recent terrorist attacks is impressively powerful and elicits confidence that swift, sure action will be taken to punish and prevent terrorist acts. If only that same level of mass resolve were focused on saving abused children. If only our country stood unified in the defense of these helpless children, how many young victims of daily terrorism could be saved? How many small spirits could be recovered? How many terrorists could be stopped?

            We wonder what horrendous atrocity must occur to a child before every American resolves to put an end to child cruelty in every home in which it occurs.We  have stated before, in print and speeches, that there is a pandemic of child cruelty throughout the world. Now, with the advent of the bird flu, mad cow disease, tainted spinach, Aids and other “epidemics”, the word pandemic has become as familiar to us as the word terrorism and, unfortunately, we must now state that a pandemic of child cruelty now exists on this Planet.

            Simply put in perspective, if a disease were killing hundreds of children in America each year, the Center for Disease Control would mobilize everything it could to find the cause. Federal and State governments would spend millions on treatment and trying to find a cure. No stone would be left un-turned and no sum of money would be too great in an effort to end the pandemic.  Over 3,000 children are kiled through abuse and neglect each year.  Is that not an epidemic in your eyes?

            Yes, our lives were forever changed by our  visit to the Oklahoma Bombing Memorial

By Michael Weitzman 28 Jul, 2017

Interesting stories about famous people, biographies, humorous stories, photos and videos. Top of Form

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By Leo Alvarez 24 Jul, 2017
It bothers many of us, and if it doesn’t bother you there is something wrong with you. I’m referring to child abuse and neglect and the killing of children.
They may deny it but the Powers That Be don’t care about American children suffering and dying, at least the Record indicates this. If they did things would change. They are interested in keeping families together, particularly the dysfunctional ones because they do not deal with “normal” families.
An attorney once said, as he referred to abused children, We may not necessarily do what is in the best interest of the child, but, we do the legally correct thing. He was and still is in the Just A System, along with the judges, Court appointed child advocates and CPS – they all know, but either keep silent or quit and give up and the children continue to suffer and die.
One law, CAPTA (Google it), Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, is a Federal law which cannot be superceded by State laws. It is the tail that wags the dog because all States, if they want federal funding for Social Services, must comply with it. Child abuse, and resulting death, are crimes and should be prosecuted, but sometimes they are not.
CAPTA contains the confidentiality clause and the clause that says a child cannot be reunified with the killer of its sibling, except on a case by case basis to be determined by a judge.
Do you want a child abuse victim to be sent home with the abuser? It is done every day and it will continue until You and I and every American wises up.
By Michael Weitzman 05 Jul, 2017
By Michael Weitzman 03 Jul, 2017

Body of Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found Near Lake Cachuma as His Father Is Accused of His Murder

By Dave Quinn @NineDaves  July 1, 2017

The body of a missing 5-year-old California boy last seen in late April  has been found near a Santa Barbara County lake, homicide detectives confirmed to PEOPLE Saturday.

Aramazd Andressian  Jr. was found near Lake Cachuma on Friday, after additional leads brought homicide detectives back to the area searching for additional evidence.

The discovery came hours after the boy’s father, Aramazd Andressian Sr., was extradited to Los Angeles where he has been charged with the 5-year-old’s murder. The 35-year-old man was detained on June 23 in Las Vegas  in connection with his son’s death, and is being held on $10 million bail on a single murder count.

The boy was last seen on April 20, when he and his father visited Disneyland in Anaheim, California. They left the theme park around midnight.

Within a week of the boy’s disappearance, police arrested his dad on suspicion of one count of child endangerment and one count of child abduction. But they released him days later , citing “insufficient evidence.” It was not immediately clear what prompted his re-arrest.

Officials confirm that Andressian, Sr. and his wife, Ana Estevez, are embroiled in a bitter divorce, but they shared custody of their son.

Andressian, Jr. was supposed to be dropped off by his father in San Marino, California, on April 22 — but the elder Andressian failed to show. Instead, he was found passed out near his car in a nearby park. Police have alleged that the inside of his car was doused with gasoline and there were matches in his vehicle.

Andressian, Sr. told investigators he believed he was attacked, but he had no memory of the assault. He also told police he had taken some prescription medication that morning before falling unconscious, CNN reported .

“There has been a great deal of speculation regarding the timeline around his disappearance,” Andressian, Sr. wrote in a statement  issued nearly a week after his son vanished. “The last time I saw my son was on Saturday morning, the 22nd, at Arroyo Park near my home in South Pasadena. After breakfast Aramazd Jr. wanted to go to the park before we were to meet his mother for a custody exchange at 9:00 a.m.”

“In one moment, I was at the park with my son, and then I found myself waking up in Huntington Memorial Hospital hours later,” he continued. “I was told that a good Samaritan found me unconscious on the ground near my car, with young Aramazd nowhere in sight. I can only speculate that I must have been attacked in the park, given my unresponsive state and subsequent physical condition.”

“My family and I are heartbroken and grief-stricken that Aramazd Jr. is missing and may be in harm’s way,” he continued. “I am pleading with the public to come forward with any knowledge of Aramazd Jr.’s whereabouts or information regarding the circumstances leading up to his disappearance.”

Estevez has also spoken publicly , pleading for the public’s help at a May news conference with law enforcement.

“There are no words to describe how devastated and heartbroken I am,” Estevez said through tears, before speaking directly to her son. “This message is for you my love: Be brave, honey. Don’t ever forget that mama loves you to the moon and the stars. I am counting the days until I see you honey, and I will never stop looking for you.”

“To those who are concealing my son, I pray every day that God will touch your heart and guide you to do the right thing and return my son,” she said.

Anyone with any information about this ongoing case can call the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department at 323-890-5500 or police in South Pasadena, California, at 626-403-7297.

By Michael Weitzman 03 Jul, 2017
The Columbus Dispatch
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