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Coroner: DNA Evidence Might Be Useless In Fiesel Murder Trial
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 4, 2006

CINCINNATI, OHIO--Investigators told reporters Tuesday that they might not be able to rely on DNA evidence to convict Liz and David Carroll, Jr. of killing their 3-year-old foster child, Marcus Fiesel, because fragments of bone and body tissue suspected of being the boy's remains have been too damaged by fire.

The couple has been charged with murder in the death of Marcus, who reportedly had autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Detectives said that on August 4, the Carrolls pinned Marcus' arms behind him, wrapped him in a blanket that they taped around him, and left him inside a locked closet while they went out of state to a family gathering. When they returned two days later to their Clermont County home, the boy was dead, likely from dehydration and heat stroke, investigators said.

Mr. Carroll has been accused of covering up the crime by taking the boy's body to a remote area in nearby Brown County, and trying several times to burn it inside the stone chimney of a house that had collapsed many years ago. Police believe Carroll dumped the rest of the boy's remains in or near the Ohio River.

Hamilton County Coroner Dr. O'dell Owens said that tiny pieces of bones and tissue that are consistent with that of a 2- to 4-year-old child were recovered from the remote location, but that there may not be any DNA to extract.

According to the Middletown Journal, Owens said circumstantial evidence, along with an eyewitness account from the Carroll's live-in girlfriend, Amy Baker, might be enough for a jury to convict the couple.

A February 26 trial date has been set on the murder, involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping, felonious assault and child endangerment charges in Clermont County. Mr. Carroll also faces one charge of gross abuse of a corpse.

Hamilton County prosecutors said last week that they would likely wait until the Clermont County trial has ended before moving forward with charges of making false alarms and inducing panic. Mrs. Carroll is also charged with two counts of perjury for allegedly lying under oath to a grand jury. Officials there claim that on August 15, the couple misled the public by saying Marcus had unexpectedly wandered away while the family was at a Hamilton County park. That prompted a massive, weeklong search involving hundreds of volunteers to look for the boy, even though the Carrolls had known for more than a week that he was dead.

In court papers filed last week, Clermont County officials said that the Carrolls were known to have taped up Marcus inside a blanket while they ran errands.

The Carrolls face 35 years to life each if convicted on all charges.

Related:
"Court delays foster parents' cases" (Middletown Journal)

http://www.inclusiondaily.com/news/06/red/1003e.htm
"DNA may play lesser role in Carroll trials" (Middletown Journal)
http://www.inclusiondaily.com/news/06/red/1003d.htm

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