The crime news daily digest from the Guardian Liberty Voice for Monday, September 8, 2014, includes reports on an Indiana woman who was missing for two months and was discovered alive being held captive by acquaintances in their trailer home, a Maryland woman who was recently released after undergoing psychiatric testing and is now charged with suffocating her two young children to death and the plans for new execution equipment and protocol for Oklahoma after the botched death of condemned man, Clayton Lockett.
Missing Indiana Woman Found
A 30-year-old Indiana woman and mother of two who had disappeared on July 9 has been discovered alive in Indiana. For at least part of the time, the woman was locked inside of a wooden cage in a trailer home located near the Illinois border in Posey County.
The hostage was rescued by the ex-husband of Kendra Tooley, 44, who lived in the Stewartsville home with her boyfriend, Ricky Roy House, Jr., 37. Tooley and House had invited the ex-husband, Ron Higgs, 61, to their home on Thursday. While there, Tooley informed him that she was keeping a “girl” inside of a cage in the back of the trailer. According to Higgs, the couple allowed the woman out of the cage in order to clean and cook for them.
The captive woman begged Higgs to help her. He managed to persuade Tooley and House to allow him to drive her home by promising that he would not notify authorities of their crime. After driving from the home, however, he called police. Posey County sheriff’s deputies and a SWAT team from the Evansville Police Department searched the mobile home on Sunday and arrested Tooley and House for the crime of rape and for criminal confinement.
Maryland Mom Admits Killing Her Children
The mother of Ayden Spoon, 1, and Kayla Thompson, 3, has admitted to suffocating her children. Sonya Spoon, 24, has been charged with two counts of murder in the first degree.
After receiving a 911 call from a family member, police in Cheverly, Maryland, responded to the Spoon home. When they arrived early Sunday morning just after 2:00 a.m., they found the two children with plastic bags over their heads and transported them to a hospital. They were pronounced dead after arrival.
Investigators are working to determine why Sonya Spoon was motivated to commit the crime of murder against her two children. Sgt. Jarrod Towers of the Cheverly Police Department said that Spoon admitted to being “depressed for a short period of time” before suffocating her children and underwent a mental health evaluation last week after her mother phoned authorities with concerns that Spoon was threatening to kill her 3-year-old and herself. She was later released.
Okla. Getting New Equipment for Executions
After the botched execution in April during which condemned prisoner Clayton Lockett moaned and writhed before finally being declared dead 43 minutes after the injection was administered, Oklahoma is getting new equipment for its execution chamber. Among the new items is a tool which will aid staff in finding suitable veins in which to inject the lethal dose of medicine.
The new vein finder was recommended by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety in their report on the execution of Lockett. The report, released last week, found that part of the problem was due to the inability of the medical team to locate suitable veins in Lockett’s neck, arms, feet and legs before finally placing the IV into his groin. In addition, 11 more recommendations were made to improve the execution process. Director Robert Patton says that the agency intends to “adopt all of the recommendations from the report that are within our authority.” He added that his agency is not able to schedule executions a minimum of seven days apart because the courts set the dates for executions and not the agency.
The state prison agency intends to have the new equipment as well as new protocol in place for the next execution, scheduled for Nov. 13. Patton is not yet aware of how much it will cost to implement the new recommendations.
Crime Daily Digest by Jennifer Pfalz