It was a missing persons case that horrified and outraged many. A 3 year old, developmentally disabled, autistic boy, Marcus Fiesel, was first said to be missing by his parents. We would later find out that he was bound and abandoned in a closet by his foster parents where he died while they attended a family reunion. Then the story gets worse, if possible. David Carroll who has yet to be prosecuted took the boy’s body to rural Brown County and burned it.
Liz Carroll, 30, was convicted on seven counts, including involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping, felonious assault and three counts of child endangerment by the Clermont County jury. She faces from 15 years to life in prison when sentencing begins Thursday. (AP)
The Caroll’s told authorities that Marcus Fiesel “wandered off or had been snatched from a park in suburban Cincinnati, sparking a search by thousands of volunteers that lasted several days.” Liz Caroll begged people to help find her son all the while she knew exactly what had occurred. Scared Monkeys followed the events from the outset and had posted some rather critical articles of the foster parents accounts obviously striking a nerve with Liz Carroll. That prompted her to leave a comment on Missing & Exploited web page that was far from PG rated. That very next morning Liz and David Carroll were arrested in the death of Marcus Fiesel.
David and Liz Carroll
Scared Monkeys: Missing & Exploited was later contacted by Rick McCrabb of the Ohio newspaper, The Middletown Journal, for comments and our coverage of this case.
Newspapers and television stations in southwest Ohio have followed every step in the case, and now that his foster parents have been charged, the story has grabbed the attention of media outlets throughout the United States.
There are Web sites that feature photo albums, message boards, chat rooms and slide and video shows. One of those is www.scaredmonkeys.com, dedicated to exploited and missing children. “Red,” one of the site’s co-founders, said after news of Marcus’ disappearance was linked to his Web site, he received an e-mail from Marcus’ foster mother. She chastised the site for their portrayal.
“As soon as she did that, well, it was like, she’s guilty,” Red said Friday from his office in Maine. “You knew this was going to end bad. The radar just went up. It raises the hair on the back of your neck. When you kill your son, and go public pleading for help, it brings it to a special level of hell.”
He said Marcus’ story has drawn widespread coverage because people are so “disgusted by it.” (Middletown Journal)
So often we hear about the evils of the internet. Teenagers getting into trouble by divulging too much information on the internet or meeting people they meet on MySpace. However, this was a case of the best of what the internet can offer. A small town story made it big and received attention from major outlets due to its discussion on the web.
Even with a story this bizarre, there was a time — and not too long ago — that it would have been reported by area media outlets, then picked up by wire services. It wouldn’t have extended too far beyond the city’s boundaries.
That all changed with the Internet. What is reported in The Journal — once a community newspaper — is spread on its Web site, and instantly reaches millions of possible readers.
Another silver lining to this terrible story is the fact that calls for reforms in the Foster care system in Ohio have been raised. Let’s hope that Marcus can save a future foster child from the same fate.
The case led to calls for reform within Ohio’s foster care system. An investigation by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said the Carrolls were unqualified to care for Fiesel and cited failure to check references and inadequate home study and follow-up visits.
The state report recommended increased training, thorough background checks, drug testing and more data-sharing among agencies, courts and law enforcement as solutions. Legislators expect to work on reform measures this year.