Another Autistic Child Murdered
As reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer, three-year-old Marcus Fiesel's foster parents, Liz and David Carroll Jr., intentionally left the boy locked in a hot closet with no food or water for two days. They burned the body and then reported to police that Marcus, who was autistic, hyperactive, and prone to wandering, had gotten lost in a park. County Prosecutor Joe Deters and County Sheriff Simon Leis discussed the crime at a press conference.
"It really is one of the most heartless things I've ever seen," Deters said. "The bottom line is you wouldn't treat a dog like this."
Leis added, "In my 35 years involved in law enforcement, this is the worst I've seen."
The Carrolls have been arrested on charges of involuntary manslaughter and child endangering. More serious charges are expected as the investigation continues.
The news article also described the reaction of the community:
Many of those who helped search for Marcus held a candlelight vigil at the Carrolls' former residence Monday night.
Late into the night the crowd left, but left behind messages of sadness.
Candles, no longer lit, were placed in the shape of a heart and Marcus' initials, M and F.
Three bouquets of flowers and stuffed animals lay in front of the house.
Kandy Meadors, who lived down the street from the Carrolls' rental house and whose 11-year-old son occasionally played with the Carroll children, said it was hard to understand how parents could harm a child.
"I can't believe this. I just can't comprehend it," she said. "All mothers will cry over this, every mother on the street is crying."
In my view, this was an excellent job of reporting by staff writer Sharon Coolidge, who got it exactly right in describing this crime as what it was—the horrific murder of a helpless child. No sympathy whatsoever for the perpetrators. She doesn't even comment on Marcus' autism diagnosis (which was mentioned in earlier stories about his disappearance).
What a contrast between this thoughtful, responsible piece of journalism and the abysmal reporting we've seen on other murders of autistic children, where the parents, no matter how heinous their acts, were portrayed as long-suffering martyrs who loved the child but couldn't cope with the burden of the child's existence. What a contrast between this story and the revolting claim by Autism Speaks that all parents of autistic children think about killing them.
If only we had more decent, ethical reporting like this, stories about murdered autistic children would not have to be written so often.