Legally Kidnapped

Shattering Your Child Welfare Delusions Since 2007

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Marcus Fiesel

Funeral for Marcus Fiesel Funeral held for boy murdered by foster mother Greber, Dave. Kentucky Post, May 5, 2007, pg. A4. Some who came to Marcus Fiesel's final send-off Friday found consolation in the fact that the 3-year-old who died such an ignominious death -- bound in a blanket and closed up in a closet for two days during a sweltering August weekend -- was at last getting a proper funeral. "That little boy got some respect for once in his life," said Paul Brownstead, foreman of the Clermont County, Ohio, jury that convicted Marcus' foster mother, Liz Carroll, of his murder, leading to a prison sentence of 54 years to life for her.Carroll's husband, David Carroll Jr., got 16 years to life after copping a plea. He was also convicted of burning the boy's body. Friday, all that remained of Marcus, 18 charred bone fragment enclosed in a casket no larger than a child's toy box, were buried in a cemetery here. Earlier in the day, his biological mother, Donna Trevino, wept as she greeted mourners at a funeral home where about 60 people paid their respects. Some carried flowers and stuffed animals, and many said they felt compelled to attend even though they didn't know the boy. "For me personally, this was the ultimate violation of civil rights," said Anita Scott Jones, president of the Middletown NAACP. But there was also consolation in the fact that the boy's death has prompted calls for sweeping reform of Ohio's foster care system. Among changes that have been proposed: adding staff and funding for the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services to intensify its oversight of private foster agencies like the one that placed Marcus with the Carrolls; mandating annual criminal background checks of foster parents and adding drug testing to them; and developing a central database for criminal and personal background checks. Reformers also want a database of foster caregivers whose licenses have been revoked and requiring a five-year waiting period before they can apply for reinstatement. At the county level, Marcus' death provided the impetus to disband the Butler County Children Services Board and merge the agency with the county's Department of Job and Family Services. And the case cost board director Jann Heffner her job. The Children Services board has decided to oppose Butler County Commissioners' plan to disband it, which could occur as early as May 14 with a unanimous vote by commissioners. Contracts with private foster care agencies, such as Lifeway for Youth, which selected the home where Marcus died, were renegotiated for more frequent foster parent background checks. They now require state, federal and driving record checks every year, local criminal checks every six months, and notification within 24 hours of criminal activity. Instead of every three months, caseworkers began checking private foster homes inside and outside the county monthly starting in September.

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