Colton Levi Clark

Dedicated to Colton Clark. Missing from Seminole, OK Since April 20, 2006. Looking for Truth and Justice for Colt.

Posts Tagged ‘Abuse’

Failing Chandler Grafner

Posted by KindraLore on October 1, 2008

Chandler Grafner

Chandler Grafner

One redundant fact of the short life of little Chandler Grafner is that almost everyone around him failed him.

Chandler Ashton Grafner was born on April 12, 2000 in Denver, Colorado; weighing only a little over three pounds. According to his Grandmother and Christina Grafner’s mother Sandra Younger, he was born prematurely due to the fact that Christina Grafner had a clotting disorder.

Chandler’s name on his birth certificate shows as Chandler Ashton McLain-Norris. His biological mother was Christina Grafner and according to the birth certificate, his biological father was Josh Norris. In news articles it states Josh was unaware that he even had a son until Chandler’s death.

In October 2004 the Arapahoe County Department of Human Services received a referral call regarding Chandler and his younger half brother, Dominic. According to the report, Chandler was four years of age and still not potty trained. He was still drinking from a bottle and had expressed fear of his “Dad” (referring to Jon Phillips who was living with Christina at the time and the father of his half brother Dominic.) Those allegations were considered unfounded and the case was closed in January 2005 with a risk level of medium.

In September 2005, Chandler who was then age five and a neighbor child, aged three were found walking in a busy intersection around 9:30AM in the morning. The children had been missing for almost an hour. Christina Grafner was charged with Child Abuse and pleaded guilty to this charge on November 2, 2005. She was placed on one-year probation and the case was closed a year later. The children were still residing with her.

For the remainder 2005, several referrals were made to DHS regarding the two boys and some of those calls were from Christina’s mother Sandra Younger. In December of 2005 Sandra Younger reported to DHS that Christina and the boys were no longer residing with her and had moved to Jefferson County. Because Jefferson County could not find a valid address for Christina and the boys, the assessment was closed.

In March of 2006, a Wheat Ridge police officer responded to a call of a vehicle blocking traffic. It was found that Christina Grafner appeared to be under the influence of cocaine or meth and found a crack pipe in her vehicle. Her two boys, Chandler and Dominic were in the vehicle with her at the time. They were not in car seats and were not wearing shoes and according to the officer looked neglected. He noted that Chandler looked extremely thin and it was found that the boys had not eaten in at least a day (some reports state three days). The officer also noted that Chandler’s teeth were decayed. (This was probably Bottle Rot since he was drinking a bottle at least until the age of four years old).

Christina Grafner

Christina Grafner

Christina was arrested and DHS signed temporary custody to the Grandmother, Sandra Younger. The placement with Ms. Younger did not last long however because when an assessment of the home uncovered that Sandra Younger allowed unsupervised visits with Christina, which violated the court order. It also found that Sandra Younger was transporting the children without a legal driver’s license and insurance and did not provide car seats for the children. In addition, Ms. Younger was found to be living with someone with a criminal history.

The Jefferson County DHS was granted temporary custody of both Chandler and Dominic. A treatment plan was devised for both Christina Grafner and Jon Phillips. In the meantime DHS placed the boys with Phillips, with the approval of Sandra Younger.

Sandra withdrew her support however when Jon Phillips no longer allowed visitation between her and the boys which was part of the agreement written out by DHS.

Sandra Younger

Sandra Younger

Christina Grafner did not abide by any of the plan DHS laid out and according to an investigative assessment into DHS and the role they played in Chandler’s death, critical mistakes were made in placing the children with Phillips as well.

Red flags flew when he was hard to get in touch with, never responded to numerous calls or were not present for home visits. Neither he nor his common law wife Sarah Berry ever signed the Treatment Plan devised by DHS.

Still, the adoption proceeded and in January of 2007 it was finalized. Christina Grafner was not present during any court proceedings regarding custody nor was the biological father Josh Norris notified. In that same month DHS was notified by the Denver Public School system of possible abuse of Chandler. A bruise on his neck and a black ear was noticed and when asked he stated his father Jon Phillips smacked him while he was in the shower.

In later testimony Dominic would describe the showers. He described how Phillips and Berry gave the boys baths when they were good and what he called “mean showers” when they were bad.  And he said “There were other days, when Chandler would be bad, he was in the closet.’  How often was he in the closet, the detective asked?  “A lot of times,” the little boy replied.

DHS did follow up on the report and came to the school the following day. However Jon Phillips held Chandler out of school that day. Initial attempts to contact him failed and when DHS was finally able to meet up with Chandler and his family it was a full five days later after the initial incident.

At that time the caseworker described the child’s injuries as less than severe than the school system reported (of course it was, it had time to heal) and Chandler then told the case worker that he had slipped and fell in the shower.

Jon Phillips

Jon Phillips

Jon Phillips and Sarah Berry stated that they believed the report to be a retaliatory one since they had conflicts with the school. Chandler was quickly taken out from public school and once again DHS received another referral from the school stating that Chandler had not been to school in a month.

Since they found no abuse or neglect in the allegations, DHS did not follow up with the family to see why Chandler no longer attended school.

On Sunday, May 6, 2007 the Denver Police Department responded to a 911 call at the Phillips Berry residence. Prosecutors would later determine that both Berry and Phillips waited hours before calling 911 in order to dispose of evidence of their abuse of the child.

According to the evidence in testimony as well as the words of Chandler’s little brother Dominic, seven-year-old Chandler was held imprisoned in a closet where he was made to urinate, defecate, live and sleep there. When authorities found him, he weighed only 34 lbs. He was seven.

According to reports he begged Dominic for food but Dominic was afraid he too would be in trouble and could not get him anything. Among the damning evidence presented during the trial was a cell-phone call in which Berry asked Phillips what to do after Chandler became so desperate for water that he threatened to escape from the closet, get a knife and kill them both if they didn’t give him a drink. That call was made nine days before Chandler died.

Chandler was described as looking like a concentration-camp prisoner and was covered with 20 to 25 bruises and abrasions.

The closet was described a space no larger than an oven. Hours after Chandler had died but before 911 was called Phillips and Berry ripped up and disposed of the feces-encrusted carpet and other evidence from the linen closet in the dumpster that police later discovered.

During the trial of Sarah Berry, Dr. Nancy Krebs, director of nutrition at Children’s Hospital, testified that the severity of Chandler’s dehydration would have taken one to two weeks without drinking any or very little fluids.

Krebs said Chandler showed all the classic signs of dehydration and starvation, including a severe deficiency of vitamin C, or scurvy, which caused his fingernail beds to bleed before he died. Chandler also suffered from a severe deficiency of niacin, or vitamin B3, which caused his skin to flake off or develop lesions.

“It is quite apparent that he was quite ill,” she said. “I can’t say if he was able to walk or not, but if he could, it wouldn’t be very fast or very far because of the loss of muscle in his legs. “His hands and feet would have been cold because his body was trying to conserve energy. He would have had very little desire to move around.”

Chandler died of a cardiac arrest.

Today in a plea agreement, 23-year-old Sarah Berry was sentenced to 48 years behind bars. The agreement was so that little Dominic would not have to testify at the trial.

Sarah Berry Sentencing

Sarah Berry Sentencing

Jon Phillips was convicted August 12, 2008 of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without chance of parole.

Since the death of Chandler Grafner, Colorado Department of Human Services has investigated this case and what went wrong and have made provisions so that hopefully will prevent a rerun of this happening to another child.

According to news reports Sandra Younger is petitioning the courts for custody of Dominic who currently remains in DHS custody. Biological mother, Christina Grafner is pregnant once again and due in October. She is also trying to gain visitation rights to Dominic.

Also according to a news article, Christina Grafner and Josh Norris plan to seek $150,000 each — the maximum penalty allowed under state law, according to the letter sent Oct. 29, 2007 by Denver law firm Bachus & Schanker. The letter also names the boy’s younger half-brother, Dominic, as a claimant. I could not find any other information regarding this claim.

And lastly, a year after Chandler Grafner’s death, his grave still had no headstone. Rocky Mountain News readers had agreed to pay for the headstone but the family could not agree on whether to allow donors to buy one, nor have they themselves.

It seems they are still failing Chandler Grafner.

News Articles and Sources:

48 years for child’s starvation!
Starving boy ‘forgotten in death’
Starved Denver boy’s parents plan to sue agencies


Posted in Abuse, Chandler Grafner | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Colton O’Neal – Father Wanted On Child Molestation Charges; Son Missing

Posted by KindraLore on January 26, 2007

Update 2/23/10

Someone was kind enough to email me and give me a heads up on this case. Looks like Daniel O’Neal was found NOT GUILTY on ALL charges. Looks like I owe him an apology so I would like to apologize. I went by what the media and Law Enforcement said, and well as this person that wrote me pointed out, thank goodness we all get our day in court.

Update 10/24/08 10:22PM

I would like to put an update on this case since I heard from Tracy the other day.Here is what Tracy wrote:

thought you would like to know that Daniel O’neal was arraigned last week on some of his charges. They charged him on my daughter Ashley with 2 counts of aggravated child molestation, 1 count of incest and 1 count of statuatory rape. There are still additional charges to come but he had fake custody papers for Colton so Olivia is having to prove they were forged and she goes to court next month. There will probably be more charges once this is proven.


UPDATE 5/31/08 3:40PM

Amazing news! Colton O’Neal has been located by a PI working pro-bono for the family. He was located in Cancun, Mexico. Daniel O’Neal has been arrested. Colton will return tomorrow to his family that have been desperately searching for him all this time. I know that Olivia and Tracy are ecstatic. Thanks to Jake Schmidt, a Beverly Hills Private Investigator who on his free time helps track down kidnappers and locate missing children PRO BONO to the families. WHAT AMAZING NEWS!!


Update 3/11/08 11:11AM

Its been awhile since I have been able to update this entry with actual news. Yesterday a press release was issued that the FBI are now seeking Daniel Leon O’Neal. According to the press release, an arrest warrant was issued by the Cobb County Magistrate Court in Georgia for child molestation of his daughter. In addition he has also been charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor by soliciting his 15-year-old daughter to have sexual intercourse with a 29-year-old man.

It is good to see the FBI stepping in and stepping up this case. Daniel needs to be found. Colton does not need to be with this man.

See complete article here. Press release from FBI here.

Click here for Daniel’s listing on the Cobb County Sheriff Department’s site’s Most Wanted Listing. On this site it states Daniel is wanted for: Child Molestation – Aggravated Sodomy; Incest; Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.

Here is the picture they have listed:

Daniel O'Neal WANTED
Daniel O’Neal

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children now have an age progressed photo of what Colton O’Neal would look like today. He is now 6 years old.

Age Progressed Colton O'Neal
Colton O’Neal – Age Progressed to 6 Years Old


Update: 4/2/07 4:12PM

I went on the video linked on the original blog below and did a screen capture of Daniel O’Neal. I did this because I believe its important to have his photo out as well so that maybe someone will recognize him.

If you have seen Daniel O’Neal or Colton O’Neal, please call the Cobb County Police Department at 770-801-3470.


Update 3/24/07 10:45PM

Please see Olivia Dupree’s blog. She is Colton O’Neal’s mother and posted here as well (see comments).

Please bring this baby home. Whether Daniel is guilty of Child Molestation or not, he is certainly guilty of fleeing with this child who also needs his mother.


UPDATE: – 2/16/07 9:06PM

According to Tracy, who left a comment here, Colton O’Neal has not been found. I searched for updates and the only one I found is from a Court TV boards where the thread is showing he has been found.

Tracy states on this blog:

tracy said…
colton o’neal has not been found. I am the mother of the other child that was molested by this sick man. he is still on the run from the police. right now not much info except he was last spotted in texas…keep our family in your prayers7:22 PM, February 16, 2007

Tracy, I certainly will keep you and your family in my prayers as well as little Colton. I do hope he is found and found safe and I hope that this monster is put behind bars where he wont harm anyone else. Please know I am thinking and praying for your child as well.

I will also update the Court TV boards to let everyone know and I will continue to try and follow up on this story.


UPDATE – 2/3/07 3:20PM

This child has been found safe and alive and his been reunited with his mother.

Original Blog

This case drew my attention for a few reasons. The first is the boy’s first name. I search daily for new information for Colton Levi Clark (for which this blog was born to) to no avail. I search – no news. Also, this child is originally from Cobb County Georgia, and that is where I am from.

Lastly and more important, his father is wanted on child molestation charges. Sniped from news article:

According to investigators, Colton Mitchell O’Neal, of Acworth, is believed to be with his biological father, 35-year-old Daniel Leon O’Neal.

Father and son were last seen Dec. 22, 2006, in Houston, Texas, when the abandoned truck they were in was recovered by police there. Officials said clothes and a child seat were located in the truck as well.

Colton O’Neal has blue eyes and red hair.

His father, Daniel O’Neal, 35, is described as a white man who stands 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 220 pounds. He has blue eyes, brown hair and may have a mustache or beard. Officials said he is known to work in or frequent adult entertainment businesses.

Daniel O’Neal is also wanted on aggravated child molestation, incest and deprivation charges. Authorities said Colton is not the victim of the charges. Anyone with any information on their whereabouts is asked to call police.
News Article Quoted

In another WXIA Georgia Article it states:

The father, 35-year-old Daniel Leon O’Neal, is a suspect in a child molestation and incest case that did not involve his son. However, authorities in Cobb County said they fear that Colton Mitchell O’Neal could be in danger.

WXIA Article

Seems strange to me that a month after this child went missing, it’s just coming out in the media. Who knows where he is now. It’s also very disconcerning that the father is a suspect in a molestation charge of a child involving incest.

Anyone with information on the case should call Cobb police at 770-801-3470.

UPDATE 1/25/07 11:50PM

I found a video of the mother pleading for the child’s return. Looks like Colton O’Neal has been missing for THREE months, not one. It was one month ago when they found the suspects vehicle abandoned, apparently with little Colton’s car seat and clothing still in it – in Houston, Texas.

Click here for Video

Posted in Colton O'Neal | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 91 Comments »

Throw Away Society

Posted by KindraLore on September 30, 2006

(this blog has been reposted after I deleted it. I saved everything and have decided to repost it all. Unfortunately none of the dates were saved as to when it was posted)Comments made to original post are reposted too, minus dates.

What is up with society today that we can discard our children? That we can beat them, hold them in the basement, starve them, bind them with tape, abduct them, abuse them?What is wrong that wasn’t wrong 20 years ago when I was growing up? I played from dusk until dawn. My mother saw me when it was time to get something to eat or drink and that was about it. She didn’t even question where I was and didn’t even know where I was most of the time.

I’m not saying that abductions and abuse of children didn’t happen back then, but it was certainly few and far between or at least reported that way.

I will tell you what happened.

1) – the Internet. The Internet is great for most of us and I have had great success researching things I would have never known before. But now, sick pedophiles can trade graphic images and videos of child porn.

Not only can they do this, but they can do this with seclusion, if you are computer savvy, and no one can ever trace where these videos came from.

I have read articles in which LE (Law Enforcement) cannot keep up with it. Number one they have issues with other countries and number two, there are just two few qualified LE that can crack this kind of thing.

Not too long ago, a father in Alpharetta, Georgia was arrested for having sex with his two daughters and broadcasting it over the Internet. The people tuned in could give him instructions on what to do with the girl next.

He didn’t get caught because he was on the Internet doing this LIVE, he got caught because his oldest daughter (12 I believe) saw her sister coming out of his room with her pants down (she was 7) and she told!

They also have their own support groups now. They can go in and talk to each other and feed off each other’s sick perversions, fantasies and even realities. They use to be alone, in a world that shunned them, now in their peer groups, they can be the kings.

2) – We are self absorbed. As a society today, we are self absorbed. We are working, (most of the time both parents) trying to keep up with the Jones, or perhaps just trying to make a better life. However, because of this, our children are suffering. They are being allowed to roam the neighborhood at 6 years old or taking care of themselves.

We are not giving them our knowledge. We are too tired, too busy, and they are raising themselves. I am not saying two parents cannot work in a household. Believe me, we are one of those households. But you have to let them shine, give them time. Show them that you care. Be involved with their lives.

As far as the Foster System; It is in desperate need of revamping. We need National Legislation and tax dollars. There needs to be extensive background checks, training, tests, and more tests. After all, the children that are going into this system are already “damaged”. They need someone that will care for them, nurture them and look after their best interest.

If NEITHER parent is employed, then that is a huge NO. That means that they want the subsidies provided for these children and that is it. If they have a criminal background or are taking any sort of mental health medications – again – A BIG RED FLAG.

These children are dependent on US! ON YOU AND ME!

It’s time to stop making this Nation a Nation of throwaway society. These children need us.

Tonight is in memory of Marcus Fiesel

May you be loved and hugged and kissed as much as any child could want in heaven. I am sorry we failed you.

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