Marcus Fiesel was an American foster care child murder
victim. On February 21, 2007 his foster mother Liz Carroll was
convicted of murdering him. On February 26, 2007, it was
announced attorneys for his foster father, David Carroll had
reached a plea agreement.
Life with mother
Fiesel spent the first three years of his life with his mother
Donna Trevino (née Fiesel) and his two siblings, Michael and
Peaches, in Middletown, Ohio. He was described by a neighbor as
"an awesome little guy" who loved flowers, Bob the Builder, and
bubbles. According to friends, he was autistic and attended a
school for special needs children.
Fiesel was a very active child, and his mother found it
difficult to cope with him. A neighbor said she occasionally saw
Trevino weeping with exhaustion.
Trevino also was suffering from domestic violence at the hands
of her boyfriend, which led to frequent calls to the police.
During these visits, police officers noticed that the home was
infested with fleas and reeked of feces.
On September 29, 2005, police observed severe bruising on
Fiesel's left buttock. The family was also being investigated by
child welfare workers, who had received complaints of abuse.
In January 2006, Fiesel crawled out of his second-story window
and fell off the roof, resulting in a cut to his chin that
In April 2006, Fiesel was found wandering the streets and was
almost hit by a car. Trevino told police that "she didn't know if
she could care for her children any more and that it was getting
to be too much for her." She handed them over to Butler County.
Lifeway for Youth, a private agency contracted by the state
foster care system, placed Fiesel in the care of foster parents
Liz and David Carroll. At the time, they did not realize that
David Carroll had bipolar disorder and that a third adult, Amy
Baker, said to be David and Liz Carroll's girlfriend, was living
in the home. David Carroll's psychological condition would have
disqualified him as a foster parent if known. In June 2006, David
Carroll was arrested on a domestic violence charge that was later
dismissed. He did not report the arrest to Lifeway, as required.
Family and friends said that David Carroll did not like Fiesel
and was jealous of his "constant" need for attention from Liz
Carroll and Baker. At one point he left his wife because he wasn't
sure he wanted a life with her raising foster children. When he
moved back in with his wife, he brought Baker with him.
Liz Carroll reported that Fiesel had gone missing on August 15,
2006. She said that she had been at Juilf's Park in Anderson
Township with four children (a child she had with David Carroll,
another foster child, a toddler she was babysitting, and Fiesel)
when she blacked out due to low blood pressure. She said when she
regained consciousness, Fiesel was missing.
Hundreds of people, and search dogs, searched the area as part
of the official search for Fiesel. Thousands more searched
surrounding neighborhoods independent of the official search.
On August 22, 2006, Liz Carroll held a press conference asking
that whoever may have taken Fiesel return him. She said, "I need
help from the public to help my son, Marcus is my son. I know
people think foster care is temporary, but please return him to a
hospital. [...] Waking up every morning and not having him run to
me is very difficult. I am closer than his birth mother to him."
Because no witnesses reported seeing Fiesel in the park with
Liz Carroll on August 15, and no trace of him was found, police
and the public grew suspicious of Liz and David Carroll's claims.
Discovery of Fiesel's death
Fiesel's incinerated remains were discovered on an 88-acre
(360,000 m2) estate owned by Mike Cales in Brown County, Ohio.
Police said that Liz and David Carroll had left Fiesel locked in a
closet, bound with a blanket and packing tape, while they attended
a family reunion in Williamstown, Kentucky August 4-August 6,
2006. This was confirmed by Liz Carroll in testimony before a
grand jury on August 28, 2006; she claimed, "I didn't have any
intentions of hurting him."
Fiesel was left without food or water, but authorities believed
he was killed by heat rather than dehydration or starvation, as
temperatures in the closet may have reached 105-110°F. They found
him dead when they returned home. Authorities believed it was
David Carroll and Amy Baker who incinerated Fiesel's body. Amy
Baker was granted immunity in Ohio in return for testimony, but is
currently facing extradition from Ohio to Kentucky for a Tampering
with Evidence charge against her brought up by Mason County,
Kentucky. Amy Baker confessed to helping to dispose of the body in
the Ohio River. The charges against her have now been dropped.
Charges against Liz and David Carroll
Liz and David Carroll are the prime suspects in Fiesel's death.
Both Liz and David Carroll were indicted in Clermont County, Ohio
and Hamilton County, Ohio for playing a part in Fiesel's death and
hindering the police investigation into Fiesel's disappearance.
On August 28, 2006 Liz and David Carroll were indicted by a
Hamilton County Grand Jury on two counts of child endangerment,
and one count of involuntary manslaughter. David Carroll was
charged with an additional count of gross abuse of a corpse.
A day later on 29 August, 2006 additional Hamilton County
indictments were made against the Carrolls. Both David and Liz
were charged on one count of making false alarms, and one count of
inducing panic. Furthermore, David was charged with one count of
gross abuse of a corpse. Liz was charged with two additional
charges of perjury.
On 1 September, 2006 Clermont County Prosecutor Don White and
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters held a joint press
conference, where they discussed plans for prosecuting the
defendants. All murder and/or homicide charges were to be
prosecuted by Clermont County, since Fiesel's death occurred
inside the Carroll's Union Township home. However, since State of
Ohio contends the Carrolls attempted to cover up Fiesel's death in
Anderson Township, Hamilton County, Ohio all charges related to
inducing panic and covering up the death of the child would be
prosecuted in Hamilton County.
Several days later on Wednesday September 6, 2006 a Clermont
County grand jury indicted David Carroll on eight criminal counts.
The charges against the Carrolls included: murder (1 count each),
involuntary manslaughter (1 count each), kidnapping (1 count
each), felonious assault (1 count each), endangering children (3
counts each). David Carroll was also charged with one count of
gross abuse of a corpse.
Liz Carroll was found guilty of all charges on February 21,
2007. The jury, made up of nine women and four men, deliberated
for 4-6 hours. The trial lasted for 10 days beginning on February
12, 2007 and ending on February 21, 2007. Her lawyer Gregory A.
Cohen has promised to appeal. The appeal is also over a report
that a juror reportedly said in an interview that she "knew in her
heart Liz Carroll was guilty".
During closing comments the assistant prosecutor Daniel Breyer
said "They say you wouldn't treat a dog like that, and you know
what? She [Liz] wouldn't! She took the dog with her. She took the
dog with her." He referred to the Carrolls taking their dog with
them to their family reunion, but leaving Fiesel at home. After
the assistant prosecutor's closing remarks Liz Carroll said: "The
dog was alive!"
She was sentenced to 54 years to life on February 22, 2007.
After accepting a plea deal, David Carroll pleaded guilty to
murder and gross abuse of a corpse. The judge accepted his plea,
and sentenced Carroll to 16 years to life in prison. Carroll said
that Amy Baker bound Fiesel, but he admitted he was present.
On Friday, April 20, 2007, the Commonwealth of Kentucky charged
Amy Baker with Tampering with Evidence. Prosecutors in Kentucky
claim that the immunity she was given was only with the state of
Ohio and Kentucky has jurisdiction over the Ohio river. She waived
extradition and is currently defending charges brought against her
in Kentucky, which carry a maximum five-year sentence. Her
attorneys are currently moving both to dismiss all charges against
her and to suppress all testimony given by her in the prosecutions
of Liz and David Carroll and are alleging that the Kentucky
prosecutor promised Ohio prosecutors to give Amy Baker immunity in
Kentucky as well. Her trial was set for November 7, 2007, in
Maysville, Kentucky. Her charges were then dropped in early 2008.
On Saturday, April 21, 2007, the chimney which was used to burn
Fiesel's remains was demolished and turned into a memorial to him
in a peaceful setting.
Hanlon Park-Georgetown, OH, a Bench was dedicated to his memory
on what would have been his 4th birthday, June 24, 2007.
Effects on foster care in Ohio
The case of Fiesel's death has led to many questions over the
placement of foster children within the state of Ohio and
elsewhere. Lifeway, the agency that placed Fiesel with the
Carrolls, had its license revoked. Several bills have been put
before the United States Congress and investigations continue into
why Fiesel was placed with the Carrolls. Many placement
organizations have since modified their procedures and intensified
their background screening for potential foster parents. In all,
state legislators, foster care workers, and child advocates have
recommended 55 changes to Ohio's foster care system.
Liz Carroll breaks silence on foster son's death
Woman denies involvement in slaying
By Brian Hamrick
July 10, 2012
Liz Carroll was a suburban housewife, a former homecoming queen.
She now makes her home behind the razor wire of Marysville prison,
where she's serving a 54-year sentence for the murder of her
autistic foster child, Marcus Fiesel.
For the first time since she was convicted, Carroll is talking
about what happened in August 2006, why she lied then and why she
says she has proof that she's telling the truth now.
Inside the walls at Marysville, the facility looks more a
retirement home than a prison. News 5 met with Carroll in a small
conference room. She said she wants the truth to come out about
what really happened to her foster son, who was 3 years old at the
time of his death. She apologized for lying when she told police
and the public that Marcus had disappeared at Juilfs Park. She
stood in front of cameras then and pleaded for help finding him.
Now she tears up talking about that day.
"I just want to say I'm sorry for that," Carroll said. "I am. I
have so much guilt for that. I'm really sorry. I carried so much
guilt for that because I am guilty for lying to people – my
family, my kids. I lied to my kids."
She was convicted of helping her husband, David Carroll, kill the
boy by duct-taping him in a blanket and leaving him in a hot
closet as the rest of the family went to a reunion in
The star witness for the prosecution was Amy Baker, who lived with
the Carrolls. She testified that the couple didn't want to take
Marcus to the reunion and decided to tape him up and leave him in
the closet while they were gone, but after heading to
Williamstown, David Carroll had second thoughts, and they returned
home to find the boy dead.
Baker admitted that she went with David Carroll to a remote area
in Brown County to burn the body and then dumped his remains in
the Ohio River. Only a few pieces of Marcus' bones were found.
During the trial, Clermont County Assistant Prosecutor Woody
Breyer held up a photo of the boy, telling jurors that this was
Marcus, and then showed them a small cup holding the only remains
found and said this is what's left of him.
But Liz Carroll's story is dramatically different.
"I wasn't there, first of all, when Marcus died," she said. "When
I left, he was alive."
She claims she went to run errands in the morning, and when she
returned home she said her husband told her Marcus was dead.
Liz Carroll claims she started to call 911 but was confronted by
"I was going across the room to get the phone, and she pushed me
across into my bathroom," Liz Carroll said. Baker threatened to
kill her and kids if she told police what really happened, she
Liz Carroll said her husband told her how the boy died, and her
story was consistent with the version David Carroll told in a
February 2008 interview.
"Amy and I wanted to have sex," David Carroll previously told News
5. "Amy said, 'Put the kids outside, (and) I'll put Marcus down
for a nap.'"
After Liz Carroll's trial, David Carroll pleaded guilty and is
serving a minimum of 16 years.
"What I really, really have a problem with is that my wife wasn't
even home when any of this occurred," he said from prison.
The trio spent days trying to come up with a plausible story about
how Marcus disappeared. They considered saying they lost him at
Kings Island or that he disappeared at a fair. Liz Caroll claims
they were "trying to figure out how we were going to come up with
a story about how he was missing and who was going to be the one."
She said she was eventually the "one" who "lost" the boy at Juilfs
Liz Carroll said she now has proof that she is telling the truth
She has no appeals left in any county or federal court, but she's
hoping an attorney will take an interest in her case and somehow
help her to get a new trial.
She visits with her children once a month and spends most of the
rest of her time knitting hats and blankets for charity. She is
still married to David Carroll, and they communicate by mail.
Liz Carroll has seen Amy Baker since being incarcerated. Baker was
convicted on a drug charge and sent briefly to Marysville.
"She would step out of line and smile and toss her hair and smirk
at me," Carroll said.
Carroll said Baker went back to their home after the she was
charged with murder.
"She went into my house after I was arrested and took some of my
stuff, including my clothes," Carroll said. "She wore my clothes
at my trial."
Carroll also denies that she was romantically involved with Baker.
"She wasn't my girlfriend; I don't know why people keep saying
that, (because) she wasn't my girlfriend," Carroll said. "She and
Dave had an affair, (but) it wasn't my girlfriend. She was not my
But she admits to engaging in sexual relations with Baker at her
"I'm not going to lie," Carroll said. "I did a couple of times for
my husband, I'm not going to lie. I did try it, (and) it disgusted
Liz Carroll said she wanted to testify during her trial, but her
attorney, Greg Cohen, kept her from doing so.
Although she denies responsibility for her foster son's death, she
admits she brought much of her legal troubles on herself.
"I blame myself for my lies, because my lies are what got me in
everything," Carroll said. "Even with (Baker's) threats I still
had the opportunity to tell the truth several times, but she did
go on the stand and lie, and even had the nerve to smile at me and
wear my clothes at my trial."
Carroll said she's passed a polygraph test with specific questions
about the murder, and she offers that as proof that she didn't
"The prosecutors should not be happy at all, the public should not
be happy," Carroll said. "The public wanted justice. They still
haven't gotten justice."
Young boy’s death at hands of foster parents led to change
Marcus Fiesel was killed five years ago, prompting overhaul of
child welfare system
By Michael D. Pitman - OxfordPress.com
August 7, 2011
It’s been five years since the death of 3-year-old Marcus Fiesel
at the hands of his foster parents that captured the attention of
the region, state and nation, sent two people to prison for the
rest of their lives and led to a child welfare system overhaul.
Marcus, the Middletown boy with an impish grin, would have turned
8 in June. Instead of marking another birthday, he will be
remembered for his horrific death.
The developmentally disabled boy was bound in a blanket wrapped
with duct tape and placed in a playpen inside an upstairs closet
while Liz and David Carroll Jr., live-in girlfriend Amy Baker,
their children and foster children, and even the family dog,
traveled to an August family reunion in Kentucky during the
hottest days of the year.
“I’d like to think the laws that have changed in his memory have
been beneficial in the fact that we haven’t had any other child
have the same fate that he did,” said Gary Cates, a former state
senator from West Chester Twp. “If that’s his legacy, that no
other child’s been harmed, then that’s a tremendous legacy that
Marcus left other children.”
Both Liz and David Carroll declined interview requests from
Marcus’ death during the weekend of Aug. 4-6, 2006, in the closet
of the Carrolls’ Union Twp. home in Clermont County placed a giant
spotlight on some gaping holes in the child welfare system and led
private foster placement agency, the former Lifeway for Youth,
from operating in the state.
While his death was the breaking point to prompt reform in Ohio’s
foster care and children services system, other children died
while under the charge of Butler County Children Services: Tiffany
Hubbard, 3, of Hamilton in 1986; Randi Fuller, 2, of Hamilton, in
2000; Christopher Long, 2, of Middletown, in 2001; Courtney
Centers, 3, of Middletown in 2002; Jesus Rodriquez, 7 months, of
Hamilton in 2003; and Justin Johnson, 13 months, of Middletown in
Born on June 24, 2003, Marcus had many obstacles from the start.
He was born with a developmental disability — though not
specifically diagnosed, he had “global delays” and needed 24-hour
care and attention.
Marcus slept on a foam mat at the home of his biological mother,
Donna Trevino, and he and his siblings were not closely watched or
cared for. Butler County Children Services became involved with
the family in Aug. 9, 2004.
When Marcus was found wandering the streets on April 22, 2006,
almost being hit by a car — roughly four months after he
accidentally fell out of a second-story window — caseworkers
removed Trevino’s three children from her home, where reports
showed there was feces on the carpet and wall of the flea-infested
home. This was the third time her children had been taken from her
The day Marcus went ‘missing’
The public story of Marcus’ disappearance began on Aug. 15, 2006,
after Liz Carroll collapsed from an apparent heart condition at an
Anderson Twp. park in Hamilton County. When medics responded, she
told them she brought four children to the park, but only three
were present. This sparked a massive three-day search by hundreds
of volunteers, law enforcement and search and rescue teams.
“I still have nightmares about that little guy,” said Jann
Heffner, then director of Butler County Children Services. “You
don’t get into this business unless you care about the care and
physical well being of a child.”
She and some of her staff, including Marcus’ caseworker Joe Beumer
went out immediately to search for the child.
Beumer was in “shock and disbelief” but said the story of his
disappearance “wasn’t adding up.” He doubted Marcus would have run
off — even though that would be something he would do, when his
foster mother collapsed. “Any child that experiences something
like that I think their natural instinct would be to stay with
that person that’s hurt,” he said, “even if they couldn’t do
anything they would just sit there.”
Worry quickly turned into horror at the end of August 2006 when
the Carrolls were charged with murder.
Not many things hang on the walls in Hamilton County Prosecutor
Joe Deters’ office, but a drawing of Pulitzer Prize-winning
political cartoonist Jim Borgman of Marcus holding hands with God
walking toward heaven has a special place.
“To this day it just chills me that someone could do that to a
little baby. They are where they belong and they will have to
answer to God,” Deters said.
Deters had prosecuted the case before it was moved over to
Clermont County since Marcus died in the Carrolls’ home. He said
he thinks about the 3-year-old boy “all the time.”
“The inhumanity of how they treated him, it boggles my mind when
you’ve got children,” he said.
The story of Marcus’ disappearance unraveled at Liz Carroll’s
televised news conference, which Deters watched from his office.
“It was rehearsed and came off very untruthful,” he said.
He immediately brought in Liz Carroll and Amy Baker (who now goes
by Amy Ramsey) before a county grand jury. He talked to Baker
first, and with her attorney present, said “if she was not
truthful, she’ll go to prison.” After consulting with her attorney
— who Deters said was ghostly pale after the attorney-client
conversation — Baker admitted what happened to Marcus.
“It was disgusting,” Deters said of her testimony.
She revealed Marcus had been dead for days before the
disappearance hoax at the park, and that she helped David Carroll
burn the boy’s body in rural Brown County and throw the rest of
his remains in the Ohio River.
Following a jury trial in February 2007, Liz Carroll was convicted
of charges including murder and sentenced to 54 years to life in
prison; her husband later was sentenced to 16 years to life as
part of a plea deal.
An Ohio Department of Job and Family Services investigation
pointed blame at Lifeway for Youth, the New Carlisle, Ohio-based
foster care provider that placed Marcus with the Carrolls.
For reasons that include and extend beyond Marcus’ case, ODJFS
later pulled Lifeway’s operational certificate, a decision upheld
by a Franklin County judge.
Although investigations determined that Butler County Children
Services did nothing wrong, Heffner was moved into a consulting
role and then fired by the county commissioners. The Butler County
Children Services Board — initially formed in the wake of
3-year-old Tiffany Hubbard’s abuse and death in 1986 at the hands
of her biological father — was disbanded.
The Rev. Johnny Wade Sloan, chairman of the 11-member board,
didn’t agree or see the reason to disband the board.
“(The Carrolls) promised 24-hour adult supervision and there was
no reason for us not to place (the kids) when (Lifeway was)
telling us, as a licensed agency, they had an ideal place,” he
But Sloan and Heffner said the decisions to disband the board and
fire Heffner were political moves and not a result of Marcus’
death. “Marcus Fiesel became the focal point for that happening
because that would have happened regardless,” Sloan said. Former
Butler County Commissioner Mike Fox resigned his elected seat and
later was appointment Children Services director. He has since
resigned and is headed to federal prison in an unrelated case.
The death of Marcus Fiesel prompted change the Ohio child welfare
system, though the need for retooling the system had been evident
for years, said Gary Cates, a former state senator from West
In 2007, Cates introduced legislation in the Ohio Senate and Rep.
Courtney Combs, R-Hamilton, introduced legislation in the
“I hope and pray that it never happens again,” Combs said of
Implementing the legislation requirements cost about $15 million
in both the 2008 and 2009 fiscal years, said ODJFS spokeswoman
Angela Terez. That investment included about $5.2 million in
federal funds in each of the years, she said. After Marcus’ death,
the Criminal Justice Information System, formed in Montgomery
County, expanded to now include 14 Ohio counties. Had CJIS been in
effect in Butler County, Marcus could have been pulled from the
Carroll home following a June 2006 domestic violence arrest of
David Carroll Jr., though the charge was later dismissed.
“Any foster parent in our network — even foster parents where we
don’t have children in their homes — if they are pulled over even
for a speeding ticket we’re made aware of it instantly,” said Jeff
Centers, current children services director. “Anything that might
raise a red flag, we’ll know about it immediately.”
Centers said the county pays $46,000 a year for the CJIS licensing
records checks and that the agency also has a $95,000 annual
contract with the county sheriff’s office to have a deputy
supervise the investigations unit and provide services such as
security and finding runaways.
Carroll to turn 84 in prison
February 22, 2007
BATAVIA - Liz Carroll, convicted of murder and six other
charges in connection with the death of Marcus Fiesel, will be an
84-year-old woman before she’s eligible for parole.
Prior to her sentencing Thursday, Carroll apologized for the
lies that prompted thousands of people to search for her
3-year-old foster child after she claimed he was missing.
Carroll also insisted she didn’t kill Marcus. “I didn’t do this
to Marcus,” she told Judge Robert P. Ringland before he handed
down the sentence. “I didn’t, and I wouldn’t, hurt a child."
Ringland was unmoved by what she said.
Carroll, 30, will spend at least 54 years in prison – and
perhaps the rest of her life – based on sentences for murder and
the other offenses.
“I did lie after to try to protect my family,” Carroll said.
“And I’m sorry. I want to apologize to the community, my family.”
A day after Carroll was found guilty of murder by a jury in the
Court of Common Pleas, she again implied that her former live-in
girlfriend, Amy Baker, was responsible for Marcus’ death.
“I’m sorry for the lies,” Carroll said. “And I just hope that
some day the truth can come out because Amy Baker does not speak
Ringland said Carroll was to blame.
“The character and the acts of the people who lived with you do
not take away in any fashion what you have done,” Ringland said.
“I also note that throughout this entire episode there has never
been a sincere concern for Marcus Fiesel.
“Even to this day, your only remorse is that you are being
found guilty and not for the death of this child,” Ringland said.
Prosecutors said Marcus was bound in a blanket with packing
tape and left in the closet of Liz and David Carroll Jr.’s home in
Union Township the weekend of Aug. 4.
When they returned Aug. 6 from a family reunion in Grant
County, Ky., the boy was dead, Baker testified during Liz
Carroll’s murder trial.
Baker accompanied the Carrolls on the trip, along with the
couple’s four other children and the family dog.
“The dog was alive,” Liz Carroll said in court Wednesday,
implying that Marcus was left behind because he wasn’t.
Liz Carroll had told The Enquirer that Baker killed Marcus on
Clermont County Assistant Prosecutor Daniel “Woody” Breyer
asked the judge to impose the stiffest sentences possible.
“This is the most offensive and heinous crime that I can recall
being involved in (in) my 30 years as a lawyer, and I believe that
a maximum consecutive sentence would be appropriate,” Breyer said.
The judge sentenced Carroll to life in prison without the
possibility of parole for 15 years on the murder charge. The judge
incorporated the sentence for involuntary manslaughter into the
She must serve separately a 10-year sentence for kidnapping,
another eight years for felonious assault and 21 years on three
child endangering charges.
Carroll wore an orange jail uniform with her hands cuffed and
feet shackled when brought into the courtroom at 11:30 a.m. During
the trial, she wore dark pants suits that hid a security leg-brace
from the sight of jurors.
The murder trial of her husband is scheduled to begin March 19.
“I’m just sorry to the community and my family,” Liz Carroll
said. “I want people to know I didn’t do this. Whether you believe
me or not, I can’t help the lies. I can regret the lies, but I
can’t help what I did do.”
Marcus' death 'an accident'
Liz Carroll says plan to put 3-year-old in
closet hatched by family friend
By Kimball Perry - News.Cincinnati.com
December 20, 2006
In dramatic testimony rarely heard by the
public, Liz Carroll told officials - under oath - that family
friend Amy Baker came up with the plan that led to the death of
3-year-old foster child Marcus Fiesel.
The testimony came in August when Liz Carroll
was before a Hamilton County grand jury.
Usually, Ohio law prevents grand jury
proceedings from being revealed, but these statements were made
public Tuesday after Liz Carroll's lawyer argued that her
testimony should be suppressed and not used against her.
Because of that move, Assistant Prosecutor Mark
Piepmeier introduced the transcripts into evidence, and they
In the transcripts, Carroll admitted that she
lied about what happened to the child.
Initially, she told police - and the grand jury
- that Marcus wandered off while at an Anderson Township park with
But after being confronted by prosecutors, she
admitted that the child was wrapped in a blanket, placed in a
playpen inside a closet and left - at least overnight - as the
family went to a reunion.
It was Baker - the girlfriend of Liz and David
J. Carroll Jr. - who came up with the idea to put Marcus in the
closet, Liz Carroll told the grand jury Aug. 28.
"When you left to go down to Kentucky on that
Friday, you left Marcus in a closet, didn't you?" Carroll was
asked before the grand jury.
"In a closet?" she repeated.
"In a closet at your (Clermont County) house?"
the prosecutor asked.
"No," Carroll responded.
"And when you got back early Sunday, Marcus was
dead. Now do you want to tell us the truth or keep up this story?"
the prosecutor asked.
Carroll didn't respond.
"Did you purposefully kill him?" she was asked.
She didn't respond.
"Or was it an accident?" she was asked.
"It was an accident," Carroll said.
Carroll testified before that grand jury that
her husband, David Carroll Jr., and Baker told her that Marcus was
dead and that those two took the body from the house.
"Amy said they burned him," Liz Carroll
She also said Baker came up with the idea of
saying the child was lost in the park.
David Carroll wondered on the drive to the
reunion, Liz Carroll testified, whether they should go back and
check on Marcus.
"Amy is, like, he'll be fine," Liz Carroll
testified, adding that Baker also was the one who came up with the
idea of wrapping the boy in a blanket and placing him in a playpen
in the closet.
Liz Carroll was arrested immediately after
testifying before the grand jury.
The transcripts come as the Carrolls face
charges in Hamilton County of inducing panic and making false
alarms. She is also charged with perjury.
They are charged in Clermont County with
murder, involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping, felonious assault
and endangering a child. David Carroll is also charged with gross
abuse of a corpse.
The case broke when prosecutors gave Baker
immunity and she told them what happened.
Liz Carroll's lawyer wants her grand jury
testimony thrown out, saying she "has a history of serious mental
defects" and was intimidated and "ambushed" by police and
prosecutors when she told grand jurors how Marcus was killed.
Authorities "improperly misled (Liz Carroll) as
to why she was" at the grand jury, her lawyer, Adam Bleile, noted
in court records.
The judge said he would rule Jan. 3 if he would
allow Liz Carroll's grand jury testimony to be suppressed.
Carrolls' bond: $10.1 million
Foster parents plead not guilty in Marcus
By Greg Korte and Sharon Coolidge -
August 30, 2006
Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Patrick T.
Dinkelacker set a bond of $10.1 million for each of the foster
parents accused of causing the death of 3-year-old Marcus Fiesel.
David and Liz Carroll, arraigned separately
this afternoon on charges ranging from inducing panic to
involuntary manslaughter, each pleaded not guilty in a packed
The $10.1 million bond is believed to be the
highest in Hamilton County history, according to court officials
and an Enquirer analysis of jail records. The previous record was
$10 million set in 2000 for an accused drug dealer found with
$250,000 in cash.
Neither defendant said anything beyond the not
guilty plea and yes-or-no answers. Brought to court in handcuffs
and yellow jail jumpsuits that signify a suicide watch, Liz
Carroll barely made eye contact with the judge, while David
Carroll stood with his head slightly cocked to the right.
Judge Dinkelacker, reading from a prepared
statement, recited a list of factors he considered in setting the
bond: the Carrolls have moved eight times in the past 10 years,
including once since Fiesel's death. And if the allegations are
true, he said, the Carrolls showed "callous disregard" for the
life and welfare of a young child, then attempted to subvert
justice by covering it up.
"If the allegations are true, I as a father of
four, I shudder to think what would happen to other children if
you were released at this point," Dinkelacker told David Carroll.
The Carrolls are accused of leaving the foster
child tied up in a closet for two days while they attended a
family reunion, then lying to police by claiming he disappeared
from an Anderson Township park. David Carroll is also accused of
abuse of a corpse for burning the boy's body and throwing it in
the Ohio River, prosecutors say.
Both defendants appeared with their attorneys,
Adam Bleile for Liz Carroll and Scott Rubenstein for David
Carroll. Both asked simply that the judge set a reasonable bond.
"She's moved a few times, but it's all in the
vicinity," Bleile observed. "It's not the time to try the case.
It's the time to set bond."
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters,
who made a rare courtroom appearance to handle the case
personally, briefly described the allegations and said he expects
the charges to be upgraded to murder in the next week.
The courtroom was packed with reporters,
photographers, lawyers and even other judges, many of whom sat in
the jury box or lined up in standing-room against the walls.
Television stations carried the arraignment live and were even
allowed to do live reporter "stand-ups" before and after the
hearings. Fiesel's birth mother, Donna Trevino, sat in the back of
the courtroom, where she was consoled by family members.
The Carrolls are being held in the Hamilton
County Justice Center.
Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, Deters
said the Carrolls pinned Marcus' arms behind his back, covered him
in a blanket and then wrapped him with packing tape like a mummy.
Only the toddler's head was exposed, he said.
Then, as Marcus Fiesel cried out in fear, the
Union Township couple turned on a fan, shut the door to the
5-by-7-foot closet, walked down the stairs and left the house for
a day-and-a-half to attend a family reunion in Kentucky, Deters
Marcus was dead by the time they got home early
in the morning of Aug. 6. "He was wrapped like a cocoon," Deters
That wasn't the first time the Carrolls left
Marcus trussed up like that, Deters said. He said similar bindings
had happened before, but this was the first time the boy had been
left in a closet.
"I don't know how you could leave a child in
that condition for that long and believe he would be alive."
A Hamilton County grand jury Monday indicted
the Carrolls on charges of involuntary manslaughter and two
charges each of child endangering.
David Carroll, 29, was indicted on an
additional charge of gross abuse of a corpse.
The grand jury Tuesday added two charges of
inducing panic and a charge of making false alarms against the
Carrolls, and indicted Liz Carroll, 30, on two charges of perjury.
More charges likely
Deters said he and Clermont County Prosecutor
Don White have heard the public concern that the involuntary
manslaughter charge is too lenient.
"The reason for that charge was to simply hold
them and seize the children," Deters said.
The Clermont County Department of Job and
Family Services took the Carrolls' four children away Monday.
"It is the opinion of this office and the
Clermont County Prosecutor's Office that these two individuals
should be charged with murder," Deters said. He also did not rule
out the death penalty.
Deters and White will meet later this week to
determine what charges should be brought to a grand jury for
"Our goal is to have these individuals locked
up as long as possible," Deters said.
Deters said the new charges were warranted. The
false-alarms charge said that in the past two weeks, the Carrolls'
false reports about Marcus' disappearance cost law enforcement
more than $5,000.
Deters said the actual cost is many times that.
The inducing-panic charge alleges that the
Carrolls made false alarms that "caused serious public
inconvenience or alarm."
Liz Carroll's perjury charges stem from two
lies to the grand jury Monday, according to records.
When asked whether Marcus was dead or alive,
Liz Carroll said she didn't know, Deters said.
She told grand jurors the same story she told
the community, Deters said. "Both were lies," he said.
Thousands of people searched for Marcus during
the past two weeks after Liz Carroll told authorities that, Aug.
15, she fainted from a heart condition while at Juilfs Park in
Anderson Township and Marcus wandered off.
She tearfully begged the public to help her
find Marcus, even holding a news conference in the same clothing
she wore that day. She claimed she wore the clothes in the hope of
triggering the memory of someone who saw Marcus that day.
Her performance was a charade, Deters said.
In fact, Marcus' disappearance in Juilfs Park
was one of two plans the couple hatched, Deters said. He said the
couple also considered going to Kings Island and saying Marcus
Deters said he doubts that Liz Carroll really
fainted that day. Marcus had an appointment with social services
less than an hour later, and the couple had already turned away a
caseworker wanting to check up on the boy Aug. 10.
"It was planned out the whole time, hence the
Girlfriend key witness
Amy Baker, the girlfriend of both Carrolls, is
a key witness against the couple and led investigators Monday
night to an old stone chimney in Brown County, where she said
David Carroll Jr. burned Marcus' body.
"He went back repeatedly to burn the body,"
Baker has not been charged in connection with
the boy's disappearance.
"She has been cooperating," Deters said. "This
is one of those cases where we literally had to rely on somebody."
The decision about whether she'll be charged
depends on whether she harmed Marcus, Deters said.
Hamilton County Sheriff's Office investigators
and criminologists from the Hamilton County Coroner's Office
collected material from the chimney, Deters said. DNA testing is
being done at the coroner's office.
Anthropologists also have been called in to
help determine whether ashes taken from the chimney are the
remains of Marcus.
Investigators think that what wasn't burned was
tossed into the Ohio River. They searched the river Tuesday near
"The recovery process is ongoing," Deters said.
Who dropped ball?
Deters said Marcus' death could have been
avoided if child protection service agencies did their jobs.
"I think that Marcus had special needs that
these people had no training in," Deters said. "They accumulated
as many foster kids and day-care kids to maximize how much money
Liz Carroll told The Enquirer that the couple
was paid $2,500 a month for day care, $1,000 a month for Marcus
and got additional help for nutrition.
"Whoever placed Marcus, it is a serious
understatement to say they dropped the ball," Deters said. "They
should have made unannounced visits and insisted on seeing him,
and they didn't."
Lifeway for Youth is the agency that placed
Marcus with the Carrolls, and that agency is currently being
investigated by the state.
"I hope if any good comes out of this horrible
tragedy, I hope there is a serious review of the foster care
program," Deters said. "The vast majority of foster parents are
saints, doing it for the love of children. I don't think that was
the motivation of the Carrolls."
Butler County Children Services Board officials
said the agency will pay Marcus' funeral expenses and make
arrangements for services according to the wishes of Donna
Trevino, Marcus' birth mother.
Children Services took Marcus from Trevino
after he was found wandering in the street in April.