Tag Archives: Murder

No Demonstrations No Angry Voices To End Child Abuse

.jpg photo of mother of murdered child
Lisa Eck, the Child’s mother, spoke out about the crime saying she never saw it coming.

When to get help:  A Specialist’s advice on
spotting signs of Child Abuse

TOLEDO, OH  –  Twenty five-year-old Zach Shadix , the man accused of killing 8-month-old Gabrielle Walker, appeared in court Thursday.  Walker’s mother Lisa Eck spoke out about the crime saying she never saw it coming.

“I had woke up and went and made the baby a bottle like I do every morning.  I went to her bassinet to get her and she was black and blue all over the right side of her face,” said Eck.

Eck told NBC 24 Shadix lived with her, the infant, and her 9 year-old son for 6 months without any problems.  Child behavior experts at the Family and Childhood Abuse Prevention Center in Toledo say the one’s closest to you often commit crimes.

“A child is more likely to be hurt and killed by someone they trust,” said Dr. Christie Jenkins CEO of the center.

She deals with victims and their families, warning them of red flags.

“They’re scared, they cry they can be very clingy to the caregiver that’s not abusing them,” said Jenkins of the behavior of abused children.

While children might show a change in behavior there’s also the physical signs with odd-shaped bruises.

“When it’s abuse there’s typically circular motions there’s indentations of actual pieces of objects,” said Jenkins.

Even if an abuser isn’t harming a child psychically, there are often signs in the way they treat adults including getting easily frustrated along with being emotionally and physically abusive.

In addition to short tempers abusers will often have a rocky past.  Court documents show Shadix had prior charges in Lucas County for violent behavior.

“If they’re going to do that with you when you’re gone and that baby is completely helpless, they’re going to do that with that child,” said Jenkins.

Right now Shadix is in custody, while Eck says she’s still processing what happened to her child.

If the above signs sound familiar or you have questions about child abuse the center offers free counseling and one-on-one sessions.  You can visit their website to find more information.

Human Trafficking Awareness

.jpg photo of National Human Trafficking Hotline graphic

Latest trends in U.S. Child Sex Trafficking

Today we are excited to share our newest research.  Survivors have graciously allowed us to hear their stories, and in order for us all to be a part of the solution, we’re excited to share their stories with you.

Explore the Findings

Participants’ age of entry into the life

  • Youngest age of entry was less than 1-year-old
  • One in six were under the age of 12
  • Most frequently reported age is 15

Two themes in U.S. child sex trafficking emerged from this report:

  1. Technology is playing an increasing role in grooming and controlling victims of child sex trafficking.  75% of victims who entered the life in the past decade were advertised online.
  2. Less familiar forms of child trafficking, including those trafficked by family members or without a clear trafficker, are emerging.  80% of all victims under 10 were trafficked by a family member.

Without survivor input, our anti-trafficking movement risks wasting time and resources — and most importantly, endangering children.  We are truly grateful to all of the organizations and survivors that shared their stories and made this work possible.

Today is #HumanTraffickingAwarenessDay, and our research also showed that 2 out of 3 survivors never saw a help resource during their abuse.  You can change that by sharing the Human Trafficking hotline today everywhere you have a community on social media.

Spread The Word

“Survivor insights keep us grounded in the reality and complexity of their experience so that the best interventions can be developed to defend children from sexual abuse.”
Brooke Istook, Director of Strategy & Operations

Amber Alert – Houston TX Closed

.jpg photo of kidnapped child in amber alert
Shamali Flores, 6-weeks-of-age

Amber Alert out of Houston cancelled,
baby found, arrest made for murder

HOUSTON, TX  –  Two days after issuing an AMBER Alert, Houston police announced a six-week-old baby was found safe and arrest was made in the murder of the baby’s mother.

Baby Shamali Flores was found early Thursday morning and appears to be unharmed.  Authorities say a woman who recently suffered a miscarriage fatally stabbed the baby’s mom at a Houston apartment and abducted her newborn daughter.

Police Chief Art Acevedo said at a news conference Thursday that 28-year-old Erika Miranda-Alvarez is charged with capital murder in the death of 33-year-old Carolina Flores.  Acevedo says Miranda-Alvarez knew Flores, who was killed Tuesday.

He says Miranda-Alvarez hid her miscarriage from family members and was claiming that she had just returned this week from the hospital after giving birth.

He says investigators were at a southwest Houston apartment complex early Thursday when they happened to spot a couple holding a baby.  They questioned the couple and determined that Miranda-Alvarez was holding 6-week-old Shamali Flores, who was unharmed.

The suspect’s boyfriend has not been charged and Acevedo says it appears he wasn’t aware of the miscarriage.

Amber Alert – Houston Texas

.jpg photo of Amber Alert graphic
Houston, TXexas AMBER ALERT

Amber Alert issued for missing baby in
Greenspoint after mother found stabbed

HOUSTON, TX  –  Investigators said a baby missing after her mother was found stabbed to death may be with her father.

An Amber Alert has been issued for Shanally Flores, who was nowhere to be found when police were called to her family’s home at 185 Goodson Drive in Greenspoint.

Houston police believe the baby may be with Thomas Bernardez, a black Honduran male, who is a possible suspect in the woman’s stabbing death.

Bernardez may be driving a 2000 blue Toyota Celica with a black hood, and Texas license plate CM7-L340.

The baby is described as being 30-inches tall and 20 pounds.  She is believed to be Honduran and possibly black or of mixed origin.

If you know where Bernardez or the baby are, call Houston police at 713-308-3600.

Vehicles Are Not Baby Sitters

.jpg photo of mother locked children in hot car
Cynthia Marie Randolph, 24, locked Children in hot car.

Children who were locked in hot car as
punishment died of heat stroke

PARKER COUNTY, TX  –  Two children who were locked in a hot car for two hours as punishment died of heat stroke and their deaths have been ruled homicides, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.

The mother of the two children, Cynthia Marie Randolph, was arrested in June and charged with two first-degree felony counts of injury to a child causing serious bodily injury.  In light of the medical examiner’s ruling, she will likely faces additional charges.

The children — Juliet Ramirez, 2, and Cavanaugh Ramirez, 16 months — died May 26, when temperatures reached 96 degrees, which at the time was the hottest day of the year.

When it’s 95 degrees outside, the temperature inside a vehicle can soar to 140 degrees in one hour, according to noheatstroke.org. Heatstroke begins when the body’s temperature reaches 104 degrees.

On the afternoon of May 26, sheriff’s deputies were called to a residence in the 200 block of Rambling Loop, in an unincorporated area of Parker County west of Lake Weatherford, where Randolph told detectives that she found her two children unresponsive after being locked inside a vehicle.  It was the first of several stories that she told about the events of that day, according to investigators.

Ultimately, Randolph, 24, told an investigator that she had been upset with Juliet because the toddler would not get out of the car. She cursed at her daughter and then locked the two children inside the 2010 Honda Crosstour, thinking they would be able to get out on their own, according to an arrest warrant affidavit detailing her interview with Texas Ranger Jim Holland.

As the temperature inside the car rose, Randolph went inside her house and smoked marijuana, then took a nap of two to three hours.

After waking up, Randolph began looking for the children.  When she couldn’t find them, she went to the Honda, where she could see Juliet in the driver’s seat and Cavanaugh on the floorboard, according to the affidavit.

Randolph said neither child was responding and all the doors were locked, so she broke the passenger side window, removed both children and rushed them inside, placing them on the kitchen table.

Randolph plugged her phone into a charger — she had left it in the car with the children — and called 911.  Life Care Medics pronounced both children dead at the scene.