Legally Kidnapped

Shattering Your Child Welfare Delusions Since 2007

Friday, June 22, 2007

For Marcus Fiesel, 2003-2006. A boy who loved flowers.

From the photographs, Marcus Fiesel looked happy, a child full of mischief.
But Marcus' life was anything but idyllic away from the camera's lens.
Six days after the boy's foster parents were hauled off to jail, charged with killing him in a crime so chilling it stunned the region, the clearest picture yet of the 3-year-old is emerging.
At age 1, he lived in a flea-infested home that reeked of mold and feces.
More than once, police had come to the house when Marcus' mother, Donna Trevino, called to complain that her boyfriend was hitting her or threatening to.
On one visit, the house smelled so bad that police asked Trevino where the animals were.
There weren't any, she told them.
Police were so concerned about the mass of flea bites covering the arms and legs of Marcus' 9-year-old brother, Michael, that they strongly suggested the family move.
By the time Marcus was 2, police were still responding to domestic problems at his mother's home. During a visit on Sept. 29, 2005, they found severe bruising on Marcus' left buttock.
Police weren't the only ones worried.
Child welfare workers were investigating complaints from Trevino about physical abuse, too, reports show.
As he approached his third birthday, a foster family in Clermont County offered Marcus a safe, new life away from the turmoil with his mom.
That's not how things turned out.
Last week, Liz and David Carroll Jr. were accused of pinning the small boy's arms behind his back, wrapping him in a blanket and encasing his slight form in tape. They wrapped him like a mummy in a small 5-by-7-foot closet with a fan and took off for a family reunion in Kentucky, police say. The temperature was in the high 80s and low 90s.
He was dead when they returned.
In life, Marcus hardly had a chance.
In death, he captivated the hearts of thousands of strangers.
In death, he's changing the way the state handles foster-care placements.
In death, a park will be named after him.
The sparkle in Marcus' eyes was extinguished sometime during the first weekend in August, authorities say.
Left alone in the closet over two days, Marcus' cries turned to whimpers, his breathing grew shallow, he closed his eyes and finally died, authorities say.
To look back at the life of Marcus is to look at a life of contrasts.
He was born to a mother who ran away from home as a young teenager.
Born Donna Fiesel, Trevino married young. She's had three children by three different men.
None of the fathers has anything to do with their children.
From South Carolina, it's unclear how or why she ended up in Middletown just a few years ago.
Marcus is the second of the three kids. At the time of his death, he had the developmental skills of a youngster half his age.
Still, he had every bit the spirit of a 3-year-old.
He loved Bob the Builder. He loved bubbles. His favorite pillow had pink and white stripes.
Trevino's friends say Marcus was autistic.
Before living with the Carrolls, he was enrolled in a school for special needs children.
Marcus also loved flowers.
Neighbor Tammy Rosenbaum brought three tulips bulbs to Marcus' Grime Street home this year. The family planted them near the back porch.
Rosenbaum remembered that Marcus would reach his hand through the fence, snake it through the bushes and dutifully pluck the heads off the tulips to give his mother.
Other times he would press his face against the fence so Rosenbaum's miniature pinscher Smokey could cover his face with wet kisses.
"He was just so sweet," said Rosenbaum, who often caught Marcus peering at her from his bedroom window only to duck when their eyes met or she waved to him. "He was just an awesome little guy."

Latest update 8/10/07

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