Little Marcus Fiesel never had a chance. I think being a new father drew my interest to the story of this little boy in foster care who was missing. His foster mother kept talking to the media about how he disappeared. The more she talked, the more her story thinned out. Today Liz and David Carroll were charged with first degree manslaughter for Marcus' death. Allegedly, as they took a trip to a family reunion, they left the three year-old developmentally challenged boy tied up in a closet. When they returned, he was dead. David is accused of burning the little boy's body. And they concocted an elaborate cover-up plan, including Liz faking feinting in order to provide an alibi for Marcus to have gotten lost.
There is considerable outrage in our community about this, and rightly so, wondering how depraved these people could be to do such a thing to a little defenseless child. It's a horrible, horrible case, but I want to touch on a couple things relating to this tragedy.
First, the public outrage is immense but perhaps a little disturbing. Read through the many comments on Cincinnati.com and you will see that there are people advocating abuse, torture, the death penalty and even lynching for the couple. I'm not saying that the Carrolls don't deserve the harshest penalty the law will allow for their crime but I honestly think a lot of people, men and women alike, would want to flip the switch to the electric chair on these people. We need to beware that their atrocious sin doesn't draw us into sinning as well. Hate can easily consume us. Trust that justice will be done but beware how much we delight in it.
And second, perhaps the bigger perpetrator in the incident is Lifeway For Youth foster care program founded by a Dayton minister. Michael Berner and his wife Brenda earned more than $220,000 salary for running the organization that has constantly been under investigation by authorities for shady business practices including:
- Berner's sale of his van to Lifeway for $6,000. - Payment of $958 for a college meal plan, phone bills, parking, a student yearbook and intramural sports fees the Bernersâ€™ daughter Andrea. - Lifeway paid $600 for Brenda Berner to receive â€œlifeâ€ experience credit for college-level religion courses she was not required to attend. - A donation of $9,000 to Grace Fellowship Church, which Michael Berner founded in New Carlisle, so that he could go on a mission trip to Peru.
Lifeway is a racket being carried out in the name of Jesus using children as pawns in order to provide financial security for its founder's family. The reality is that this organization was ultimately responsible for Marcus' well being and they failed. Obviously there are guaranteesees in whom you select to be foster parents but the organization was negligent in following up with this child. As the investigation around Marcus' death goes further, I imagine that Berner and Lifeway will face charges of some sort as well. And they should be prepared because, eventually, all of us will have to face the Lord and be heaccountableble for actions we've committed in God's name.
It's all incredibly unfortunate. Adults using the system to provide for themselves at the cost of a little boy's life. Justice will be served. At least Marcus is now in a place where he's in no pain, has no impairments, and will never be harmed again. God bless his soul.