Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Case of Carl DeBrodie: The Investigation

Click to Watch Video
FULTON, Mo. - Carl DeBrodie's body was found encased in concrete in a Fulton storage unit.

The questions of who poured the concrete over DeBrodie's body and stashed him out of sight has been the target of an intense investigation over the last 11 weeks.

ABC 17's Jordana Marie has been digging through hundreds of court documents, looking into who was responsible for keeping him safe. She's found a court custody battle, a list of people responsible for his daily care and at least one serious potential violation of state law.

ABC 17 spoke with a former guardian of DeBrodie about what she fears happened.

“I think somebody lost it on him and that’s how he died,” Mary Martin said.

Martin is a former guardian for DeBrodie. She took care of him most of his childhood until he was 21 years old.

Martin said DeBrodie is developmentally challenged and doesn’t speak well but can get his point across to those who know him.

She said he went to live at Second Chance homes, an Independent Supported Living facility in Fulton about nine years ago. That’s where she said things started to go south for DeBrodie.

“When he went into Second Chance, he was put on meds and it upped and upped and upped until he had the Thorazine shuffle," Martin said. "He was not Carl anymore. He walked like a Zombie”

On April 17, Fulton police received a missing person’s report from Second Chance homes. They quickly realized DeBrodie had been missing a lot longer than the Second Chance workers had reported.

“We conducted a foot search, a search with drones, a tracking dog from the Highway Patrol," Fulton police Lt. Bill Ladwig said. "It became pretty apparent by speaking to some other people that were in the area that Mr. DeBrodie was probably missing for longer than just 30 minutes on that morning.”

A week later, his body was found, encased in cement, in a storage facility.

“With the decomposition of the body, it was probably there for months,” Fulton police Chief Steve Meyers said.

So when did DeBrodie go missing? Who was responsible for making sure he was alive and healthy while living at Second Chance homes?

According to former Cole County Prosecutor Bill Tackett, everyone.

“It’s everyone who touches the oversight of him," Tackett said. "Everybody plays a part in what happens to any of these people but specifically him.”

ABC 17 News has been looking through hundreds of documents from various agencies, looking for who would be responsible for DeBrodie.

At the top of that list, DeBrodie's court-appointed legal guardian: Callaway County public administrator Karen Digh.

“So she would be one of the people in the network of people of players that were responsible for protecting Carl DeBrodie,” Tackett said.

Next on the list, the case manager responsible for monthly face-to-face visits with DeBrodie.

In May, ABC 17 News reported Callaway County Special Services, the agency that employed that case worker, determined that employee was not meeting monthly with DeBrodie despite filing reports stating otherwise.

That employee has been fired.

“There are criminal statutes for false reporting, filing a false report," Tackett said.  "There's forgery.  There’s a litany of prosecutorial remedies for a lot of what’s happened here.”

Right now, no one with CCSS has been charged, though it is possibly a part of the larger investigation.

We also know Rachel Rowden owns Second Chance Homes. Her name has not been mentioned in the investigation to this point.

Second Chance Homes was an Independent Supported Living facility, with only two or three residents at a time living there.

“All she had to do was drop in," Martin said. "I mean, she didn’t have that many clients.”

ABC 17’s Jordana Marie went to Rowden’s house to ask her the last time she saw DeBrodie, if she knew what happened and how she thought his body ended up encased in cement.

Her daughter said Rowden was out of the state and referred to the lawyers when asked about the investigation.

At the bottom of the responsibility totem pole are the people working in the home day in and day out.

Through court documents and police reports, ABC 17 News has determined Sherry Paulo was one of the employees at Second Chance from as far back at 2011 to as recently as 2016.

In a court document from 2014, Paulo is listed as a staff member and “qualified disability professional" at Second Chance Home in Fulton.

Fulton police records also put Paulo in the home in October 2016 when a resident allegedly threw punches at her and her husband, Anthony Flores.

Neighbors also told ABC 17 they saw Paulo at the house the night before DeBrodie was reported missing.

More than two months have passed since DeBrodie was reported missing and his body was found.

There have been no arrests, no named suspects and no timeline of when justice for DeBrodie will be served. The community wants answers.

“This is one that needs to be compartmentalized and worked through slowly, but surely and get to the bottom of what happened to Carl DeBrodie,” Tackett said.

As a former prosecutor, Tackett said the key to ensure justice is properly served for Carl is to find out what happened before he was reported missing.

“What happened before April 17th? We know what happened after April 17th," Tackett. "What went on before the date that this was called in? What you’re hearing is the chief of police talk about the decomposition of the body being months and if you do the math on it, it doesn’t work out.”

Tackett has not been involved in the investigation of this case. But, he did say if this case was presented to him, based on the facts we know so far, he’d likely take it to a grand jury before deciding who to ultimately prosecute, and for what crimes.

We know Callaway County has a standing grand jury, but it’s not known if this investigation has been presented to that grand jury.

Full Article & Source:
The Case of Carl DeBrodie: The Investigation

No comments: