I have to let you all know that I just combined my two similar blogs here on WordPress into just one- This one. The “For the MIssing” blog has been imported into this one, the “Justice Be Served” blog. The posts didn’t go anywhere, they are all here in one place now!
Police focus on child abuse in New Haven girl’s death
Published: Sunday, November 21, 2010
By Mitch Hotts, Macomb Daily Staff Writer
Dad says 2-year-old fell from stepmother’s arms
New Haven police on Sunday were investigating whether the “suspicious” death of a 2-year-old girl was an accident or the result of child abuse.
As relatives of Lily Furneaux-Wolfenbarger awaited word from police, they also began preparing funeral arrangements for the precocious little girl whose smile warmed their hearts.
“She was a very sweet child who loved her mom — she was everything in this world to her mom,” said Lynette Furneaux, the girl’s grandmother who resides in Lapeer.
According to police, officers were called Saturday afternoon to a home on Apple Blossom Court in the Meadowcreek
Mobile Home Community near 27 Mile and Gratiot in New Haven for an unresponsive child. The girl was rushed to a hospital but was pronounced dead.
“The cause of death has not yet been determined and right now it remains as suspicious and under investigation,” Police Chief Michael Henry said in a news release.
New Haven police Sunday afternoon indicated there would be an update on the case later in the day, but none was provided as officers continued their investigation. An officer Sunday evening said additional information would be provided today.
An autopsy was conducted Sunday but Macomb County Medical Examiner Dr. Daniel Spitz said he could not comment on the manner or cause of death because it’s an ongoing investigation.
The child lived with her mother, 24-year-old Lauren Fureneaux, at Lauren’s parent’s house in Lapeer. The mother shared custody with the child’s father, Jeff Wolfenbarger, who resides in New Haven.
Relatives who did not want to be named said Lily seemed to be afraid of Renee King, Jeff’s wife, who has three children of her own. Lily sometimes came home with bruises, a family member said.
Jeff Wolfenbarger could not be reached for comment Sunday, but he told WDIV-TV (Channel 4) that he didn’t want to believe his wife could have harmed the girl. He said his wife’s version of the incident was Lily fell out of King’s arms after being bathed.
“She did what she could, she told me,” Wolfenbarger told the TV station, adding his wife splashed water on Lily’s face in an attempt to revive her.
The status of the union between Renee King and Jeff Wolfenbarger was not clear Sunday.
Macomb County Circuit Court online records show Wolfenbarger filed for a divorce or annulment on Oct. 7, but the two appear to still be living together and he referred to her as his wife.
Friends of the family said Lauren is understandably devastated by her daughter’s death.
“Lily was intelligent beyond her years,” said Elizabeth Makedonsky of Imlay City, a friend of Lauren’s, and whose children sometimes played with Lily. “She was an amazing child with a vocabulary that was quite extensive for a 2-year-old.”
The family plans to have the funeral at Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors in Lapeer. Anyone who would like to help the family pay for expenses may make a donation to a memorial fund that will be opened at the Lapeer County Bank & Trust.
I am taking a break for the day from the normal sad, ever constant coverage of our nation’s missing children, the nightmarish stories that we hear on the news every day and every night about the injustices done to so many of our nation’s citizens, to just put out a slight little paragraph on something that stood out in my mind this morning. I hope you bear with me.
Martin Luther King Day?
As I sat here this morning, listening to the news, and then listening to my husband’s running commentary on the news, it got me to thinking. He pointed something out to me; if it weren’t for Abraham Lincoln, ‘Dr. Martin Luther King’ likely would not have been able to make the kind of influence that he did on the American government, and on the American People. This is the next point in mind- why do we not celebrate the birthday of Abraham Lincoln? Or that of George Washington? The true founders of America as we know it now? While yes, we do somewhat celebrate Washington’s birthday, it is normally never commemorated as such- it is known as “President’s Day”, which vaguely covers all the Presidents, including Washington, celebrating so to speak our “President’s Day” on, or close to Washington’s birthday does not come NEARLY as close to being such a big deal as what is made out of King’s birthday. Why? I can answer the question for you-if you haven’t figured it out already. Because of the RACIAL issues in play- that is why. We don’t have a Lincoln Day, we don’t have a Washington day, or a Kennedy Day, or maybe a Reagan Day, or a Carter Day because the powers that be were, and are, too afraid of the fallout if we WERE to create such a holiday. But for some reason, those same ‘powers that be’, were NOT afraid to create a day that became a NATIONAL HOLIDAY of all things, for a man who had little to do with what actually put today’s african americans in the positions that they are able to enjoy. Doesn’t that make you think just a little? It does me, it actually rather makes my blood boil, to tell you the truth. It is time that someone started standing up for the things in our history that also need to be recognized, not just because of the color of our skin- but for the TRUE reasons that they should be recognized and remembered, such as freedom, among others.
Just wanted to share with you all a new app that I just recently found out about.
It’s called Add the Alert, here’s what their website says:
Add the Alert is:
an app that for the first time creates an instant notification system for missing children with worldwide reach.
“Our proprietary technology is superb, but its real strength comes from its ability to link, inform and empower people to respond when called to action”
The app is available without charge at www.AddTheAlert.com.
Add The Alert enables law enforcement agencies to communicate more broadly, quickly and effectively whenever a child goes missing by triggering instant alerts and delivering information, images and video to the PCs and mobile devices of Alert Button users within 100 miles of a reported incident.
“When a child goes missing, time is critical and everyone that can possibly help must know,” said Robert Donnelli, CEO of the privately held Boloto Group, a 10-year-old technology solutions company. “This is serious technology for serious issues. As a free service, we are pleased to provide this much needed technology to registered agencies and the public in the event of an emergency.”
In the U.S. alone about 800,000 children are reported as missing each year, according to the Justice Department. That’s over 2,100 children per day, or on average more than one every minute. Most abductions occur during daylight hours and close to home.
“Our proprietary technology is superb, but its real strength comes from its ability to link, inform and empower people to respond when called to action,” Donnelli said. “As kids head back to school, we encourage everyone to make August Add-The-Alert month by downloading the Alert Button and sharing Add The Alert with family, friends and colleagues.”
Once users add the Alert Button to their browsers and smart phones, they become part of a world-wide community.
The Alert Button runs in the background and does nothing unless an Amber Alert is issued in that state or a missing child Alert is directly issued by a registered agency within 100-mile radius of the user’s computer or smart phone. Then, a small alert box appears on the screen. A single click displays the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s web page or a report with details directly from law enforcement which can include multiple images, video and satellite mapping of the missing child’s area.
“In many countries, there is no alert system. We saw the need and created the technology to address it,” said Donnelli. “Now we have the ability to deliver critical information anywhere instantly, whether South Dakota, South Africa or Siberia.”
Rosie O’Donnell recently featured Add The Alert on Rosie Radio. And in recent days, broadcasters in Los Angeles and in Australia have reported on Add The Alert.
AddTheAlert.com is endorsed by many organizations and child safety advocacy groups.
Leading child safety advocate Marc Klaas believes the Alert Button represents the best technology for the protection of children. “Instant notification in a community where a child goes missing has been needed desperately,” said Klaas, founder of the KlaasKids Foundation. “The Alert solves this need. The Alert will save children’s lives. Everyone must Add The Alert.”
I hope you all will join me in enabling this free alert on your computer.
Time and action by surrounding people is the key if and when a child does go missing. We must ALL work together to prevent anymore of our children’s innocent lives being lost.
BONAPARTE, Iowa (AP) — Even a year later, residents of this tiny, scenic town struggle with the details of the heinous crime that brought national headlines.
The five-member Bentler family, by all accounts a fixture in this community of 400 or so, apparently all killed by their own son and brother, Shawn Bentler.
“It’s still hard to believe something like this could happen here,” said Peggy Troutman, owner of Bonaparte Mercantile. “I try not to think about it, but it’s difficult, even after all this time.”
Like many here, Troutman had connections with the Bentlers. Her son went to school with Shawn Bentler. Now, she said, her son rarely speaks of his former friend.
In May, Bentler, of Quincy, Ill., of five counts of first-degree murder for shooting deaths of his parents, Michael and Sandra Bentler, and his teenage sisters, Sheena, Shelby and ShaynDe.
Authorities said he wanted the family’s inheritance from a lucrative grain business that Michael Bentler owned. Bentler has been ordered to serve five life sentences in prison, including four concurrently and one consecutively, although he has appealed his conviction.
Resident say the Bentler family’s presence can still be felt here. During a recent hayrack ride, for example, some said memories of the family came flooding back as the route traveled past the gravel driveway that used to lead to the Bentler’s home.
“It’s been tough,” Troutman said. “It still hurts to think about it.”
The impact was especially acute at Harmony High School, near Bonaparte, where each of the sisters attended school.
“We still have students going to counseling,” said Tim Peterson, the school’s superintendent. “We are a small school, and everybody knew the girls. Our kids are just trying to be kids. It has been difficult at times, but we have all pulled together.”
In recent months, friends and classmates have created online tributes to the girls, including groups on Web sites such as Facebook and Myspace. On YouTube, a four-minute movie features photographs of the sisters set to music. The photos show the girls hanging out with friends, hunting and riding horses.
On Sunday, the anniversary of the deaths, residents were planning to hold a formal memorial service and visit the Bonaparte Cemetery, where flowers and wreaths have been placed in tribute.
Members of the Bentler and Mendez families will gather to pay tribute to their loved ones at St. Bonafice Catholic Church in Farmington, where the Bentlers worshipped.
Even those who did not know the Bentler’s seem to have been affected.
Near the cemetery gates last week, Janice Morgan of Freeport, Ill., paused and looked up the hill toward the family’s resting place. Morgan was in Bonaparte when news of the murders broke. She said she returned to town to pay her respects.
“I don’t even know them, but my heart goes out to them,” Morgan said. “I love visiting this area, but this year I knew I had to come to pay my respects to that family. I have kept up with the case online. You don’t have to know them personally to know this is a terrible loss to the community.”