Category Archives:Child Abuse

Satan Loses Another Battle

Change is something we tend to fear and become anxious about because we do not feel in control of life. The good news is that God has a plan for your life, hope, a future, and to prosper. If we trust in God and allow the change to grow us to become more like Jesus Christ in how we respond and act, then we are promised that all things will work together for good for those who love Him and keep His commandments. Romans 8:28

This weekend we met a single mother of four children who are in foster care for the time being. We are elated and thankful to God  that with His leading,  we were able to her to get the help and support that she needs . She is a homeless, Christian woman struggling with addiction, depression, lack of self worth, and a need to escape domestic abuse. God has provided a roof over her head, a wonderful support group,  and hope for a productive future.

There is always hope.

If you struggle with addiction, abuse, depression, anxiety, fear and panic disorders, self-mutilation, suicidal thoughts and/or tendencies, or any of the other issues mentioned on this website, please reach out to us. You do not need to be in our home town to receive our help. We will do whatever we can to get you the help and support that you need.

Please email your story to us at

All names are kept anonymous.

All we ask is that you allow us to pray for you and help in any way we are able.

You are not alone. God desires to show you His love. I beg you to allow Him.

God already knows you are afraid. All He asks is that you step out in faith.

Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].

Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. Philippians 4:6-8

Death Has No Victory Over the Child of God

When a bee stings you, it leaves its stinger in you along with part of its abdomen and digestive tract, thus killing the bee.

The same is true when Jesus died on the cross. In his continuing hatred for God’s Son, Satan thought it a boundless idea to have Jesus betrayed, arrested, beaten, and then crucified on a Roman cross, a most barbaric way to die.  However, everything went as God had planned, and the sting of death defeated itself.

So where is the sting of death for the believer? It is ripped out because at the cross, Jesus took the stinger out of death. As Christians, we no longer need to fear death because our souls will live on forever with Christ. Halleluyah!

He will swallow up death [and abolish it] for all time.
And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
And He will take away the disgrace of His people from all the earth;
For the Lord has spoken.

Isaiah 25:8

Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol (the place of the dead)?
Shall I redeem them from death?
O death, where are your thorns?
O Sheol, where is your sting?
Compassion is hidden from My eyes [because of their failure to repent].

Hosea 13:14

And when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the Scripture will be fulfilled that says, “Death is swallowed up in victory (vanquished forever). 55 O death, where is your victoryO death, where is your sting?”


1 Corinthians 15:54-55

Lose Yourself to Gain Yourself

And He (Jesus) was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me].

Luke 9:23

When I was dealing with discouragement and despair I noticed that it was because I was putting my focus and trust in everything else besides God. I was constantly dwelling on my problems and taking my eyes off of God.

Self-preoccupation is disorienting, because when we are looking at ourselves we are not looking to Jesus. and we are not looking at the road we are running on. The Bible states that Jesus is our example in Hebrews 12:1-2:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].

Note: Sometimes the public shame of the cross is overlooked when one thinks of the pain and agony inflicted by it, but in the Roman Empire crucifixion was a shameful and disgraceful way to die, a form of capital punishment from which Roman citizens were exempt; and in Roman comedy it was used in a curse: “Go to a bad cross!”

It is disappointing because we never find in ourselves what we are looking for. Therefore, it frequently leads to discouragement and despair. Ironically, we are often lured into self-centered introspection, which leads us into a vicious cycle of self-improvement efforts, self-indulgence, self-disillusionment, and new self-resolves.

When you do this that gives the devil an opportunity to tell lies such as God is not near you and He will not help you.

Please don’t listen to these lies. I found out what I was doing wrong and I went into prayer mode.

Take your eyes off the things of this world. Allow difficulty to bring you to your knees in prayer. Fight off those lies by crying for help. Trust in the Lord, not your circumstances.

The Bible states that Satan is a liar and deceiver. Follow:

Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.] 1 Peter 5:8-9

The one who practices sin [separating himself from God, and offending Him by acts of disobedience, indifference, or rebellion] is of the devil [and takes his inner character and moral values from him, not God]; for the devil has sinned and violated God’s law from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8

Jesus tells us that if we are not of Him, we are of the devil:

He who is not with Me [once and for all on My side] is against Me; and he who does not[unequivocally] gather with Me scatters. Matthew 12:30

He who is not with Me [believing in Me as Lord and Savior] is against Me [there is no impartial position]; and he who does not gather with Me [assisting in My ministry], scatters. Luke 11:23

43 Why do you misunderstand what I am saying? It is because [your spiritual ears are deaf and] you are unable to hear [the truth of] My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and it is your will to practice the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar and the father of lies and half-truths. John 8:43-44

The key to overcoming despair is keeping your mind on the Lord, which will keep your mind at peace.

Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value]. Colossians 3:2

Take your eyes off the things of this world. Allow difficulty to bring you to your knees in prayer. Fight off those lies by crying for help. Trust in the Lord, not your circumstances.

But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness[His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. Matthew 6:33

Be Aware: Occult Symbolism that is Hidden in Plain Sight

Over thirty years ago I was involved with Menconi Ministries, an organization founded on keeping parents involved in their children’s lives. The purpose was to aid parents and grandparents in connecting communicating with their children and grandchildren so they could instill family values and lead them to Jesus. One of these ways was to be informed as to the music these children were listening to and to share with them the dangers of the modern day musicians. As most of you know, Lucifier, (Satan) was the Worship leader in Heaven. He  is now the worship leader of the Earth. Not of Christ Jesus, but to himself. This is a perfect example:

There are many symbolisms and occult references that stand out in the music culture today. From historical artifacts, to the music artists today, it seems the occult world has never really gone away, but in fact has become more flagrant and blatant. The problem is that many are unaware of the meanings behind what many consider to be just artistic entertainment that appeals to the senses with no real hidden meanings, or agendas behind them. There are many artists that promote their music through occult influence. The evidence that will be provided will show striking similarities with occult ideologies that are synonymous with many artists in the music industry.

Kanye West is a popular musical artist who promotes music and imagery with deep occult meaning, which is rooted in Freemasonry. The pictures presented will parallel historical pictures from ancient cultures to recent ones. There are too many similarities for it to be just coincidence. The music culture has aligned itself with something much more than just poetic lyrics and sounds, but is progressing into something much bigger that is symbolic of the veil that is thinning between the physical and spiritual realm. It is important to be aware of the occult agenda that is manifesting in greater force these days.

The representation of the pillars behind Kanye West are ubiquitous with many cultures as an entrance, or gateway which holds the key to power and enlightenment. Kanye West is pictured at the gateway as the chosen one to represent the hidden rulers of the world that reside behind him.

The ancient Egyptian god, or deity known as Horus was considered to be the Sky god, which represented the symbol of the single seeing eye. The one eye is the most well known in occult symbolism as the all-seeing-eye; the Great Seal of the United States originates from Horus

The symbolism of Horus is very important in Freemasonry. The path of the initiate, through the Masonic degrees, is described as the process by which the Eye of Horus is opened.

The pillared gateway is for the exclusive illuminated ones. Kanye West is wearing a Horus pendant, which has importance and significant meaning not only in ancient Egyptian culture, but in Freemasonry as well.

The horned females next to Kanye represent two goddesses ofancient Egypt, Isis and Hathor. Isis was the goddess of nature, magic, and motherhood. Hathor was the goddess of music, dance, and fertility. They are known as the protectors of the dead as they journey into the afterlife.

In the occult, the initiate symbolically dies and is reborn. Kanye West is standing under the sword of Damocales as part of a Masonic ritual to obtain the 33rd degree. The rite happens in public; the more there are witnesses, the more power is given. In a metaphorical sense, Kanye West kills off his former self and is reborn to receive power right in front of the eyes of the public audience.


Eight Ways Jesus Suffered for You

1. He was betrayed by His disciple Judas. Jesus’ pain was not just physical. Can you imagine the sorrow He felt when one of His own trusted friends became the ultimate traitor? We aren’t exactly sure how to calculate the modern value of 30 pieces of silver, but many scholars suggest about $950. All the pain Jesus endured on Good Friday began the night before, when Judas took blood money to have his Master arrested.

Think about it: There’s a bit of Judas in all of us, and we all betrayed Jesus to get our own way. Yet He chose to forgive us!

2. He was abandoned by His other followers. We often focus on Peter’s denial of Jesus. But the Scriptures remind us that all of Jesus’ disciples “left Him and fled” after His arrest (Mark 14:50, NASB). Jesus had to suffer alone. All the men He had taught and invested in for three and a half years abandoned Him in His hour of need.

Think about it: Jesus paid it all. He accomplished His work of redemption without our help. But He forgave us for our denials!

3. He carried the burden of the sins of the world. Jesus’ greatest agony didn’t start on the cross. It began at Gethsemane, where God laid on His Son the sins of the world. Jesus agonized so intensely in those moments that He sweat drops of blood (Luke 22:44). Scholars say He probably developed a condition known as hematidrosis, in which blood is emitted through the sweat glands because of intense stress.

Think about it: Your sin was transferred to Jesus’ account, and He bore the punishment you deserved!

4. He was falsely accused and rejected by Jewish leaders. Can you imagine the heartache Jesus experienced when the very people He was sent to save spat in His face, blindfolded Him, cursed Him and accused Him of blasphemy? The Sanhedrin set up a kangaroo court and sentenced the Son of God to death.

Think about it: Jesus did not open His mouth in self-defense when He was falsely accused. Now, when Satan accuses you, Jesus argues your case and declares you not guilty!

5. He was mocked and abused by Roman guards. After Pilate caved into pressure from the Jews, Roman soldiers flogged Jesus with a whip, drove a crown of thorns into His scalp, beat His head with sticks and mockingly pretended to worship Him. The flogging alone—which would have involved leather cords with pieces of lead or bone attached—would have drained much of Jesus’ blood.

Think about it: Jesus could have called on angels to stop His torture—but He chose to endure the pain because He loved us!

6. He was crucified between two thieves. We cannot even fathom the pain of crucifixion. Metal spikes were driven into Jesus’ hands and feet, and He had to slide His mangled body up against the wood of the cross in order to catch His breath. And because it was the habit of Romans to crucify criminals naked, Jesus endured the ultimate shame. What’s more, He hung on that crude cross next to two men who had been convicted of crimes—while He was completely innocent.

Think about it: We should have been on death row, not Jesus. But He took our place!

7. His body was pierced with a spear. Even after Jesus took His last breath, a soldier jabbed a spear up through the chest cavity—most likely to make sure Jesus was dead. John tells us that blood and water spilled out (John 19:34), evidence that the spear pierced the pericardium, the sac around the heart. Jesus’ heart was literally broken for us.

Think about it: Just as Adam’s side was opened to bring forth the first woman, Jesus’ side was opened to bring forth the church. His piercing produced a fountain of life for us!

8. He tasted death for all. This is the most horrible reality of the cross. Christ did not die metaphorically or symbolically. He died literally. The Son of God, who had never sinned—and who was least deserving of death—died so we could have life. His heart stopped beating, He stopped breathing and His spirit left Him. First Peter 3:18 says: “For Christ also died for sins once and for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God.”

Think about it: Because Jesus died in our place, we no longer have to die. Eternal life is His free gift to us!

This Easter season, ponder the steps the Savior took from Gethsemane to Golgotha. Look at His nail-pierced hands and feet. Take a careful survey of His wondrous cross, and thank Him for hanging there six hours for you.


Be Persistent

Preach the word [as an official messenger]; be ready when the time is right and even when it is not [keep your sense of urgency, whether the opportunity seems favorable or unfavorable, whether convenient or inconvenient, whether welcome or unwelcome]; correct [those who err in doctrine or behavior], warn [those who sin], exhort and encourage [those who are growing toward spiritual maturity], with inexhaustible patience and [faithful] teaching.

2 Timothy 4:2 AMP


When it seems the anointing has run completely dry.

When it seems heaven has forgotten you’re alive.

When you feel uninspired. Tired. When you’ve been fired.

When your faith shows no results.

When your obedience has not paid off.

When your prayers seem like wasted breath.

When your bones feel dead–and so does the Word.

Persist. Jesus is on His way. Your anointing has not run dry. Heaven has nor forgotten you’re alive. You have not believed for nothing. The results of your faith will soon sprout from that fallow ground. Just a little more rain. Just a little more thunder. Your obedience will pay off. You have not wasted a single breath on prayer. There is still life in your bones and, child of God, there is still life in His Word. Persist!

Everyone Worships Something. Yes, I Said Everyone!

While I am NOT an expert in any of these areas, I have experienced many of them. By the grace of God I am an overcomer. It is a daily struggle but I trust in Him to get me through one day at a time. He has brought me through so much in my 58 years of life; He can and will do same for you if you will allow Him.

As a child, I led a normal life with the exception that I felt closer to my dad than my mom. At the age of 13 I discovered that my mom was not my birth mother. Truly it did not matter, as she always loved me as her own. My only regret is that my parents had not been honest with my step-brother (I call him brother to this day) and I sooner.

When I was a baby, 1-1/2 years old, my biological mother left my two half-brothers and I with my dad to be with another man. Granted I was too small to remember, but my half-brothers were older. After approximated six weeks following her departure, my dad took my two half-brothers to their maternal grandmother’s house a short distance away from where we lived. We were not to see one another until I was 19 years old.

My mom, the one who raised me, married my dad when I was 4 years old. She brought with her my brother with whom I was raised. We had a fairly normal life. We were a happy family. About two weeks before my 13th birthday I was caught shoplifting at our local mall. I had been shoplifting for close to two years by this time. Honestly, I was glad that I was caught. I knew right from wrong and it ate me up inside. You see God has created all of us with the need to worship. Who or what we choose to worship is our choice.  Praise and worship seems to be universal. Have you ever heard of an explorer finding a new tribe or culture that doesn’t worship? Worship is a natural instinct and a basic need for every person. A simple definition of worship is to regard with great devotion or to honor as a divine being. Take a second to think about what you are most devoted to in this life and ask yourself, “Is it worthy of my devotion; do I worship a divine being?”

We don’t all worship the same God, but everyone worships something or someone. Since we all worship, we should question the reason for this desire. The most logical conclusion is that we were created by a higher being for the very purpose of worship. Addiction is a worship problem.

The ongoing quest of man is to find answers to the fundamental questions of human origin, human nature, and human destiny. There is one book that has the answers to all these questions, including our questions about worship. The Bible is the wonderful and mysterious book that God has chosen as a way to communicate with us. God loves you and will not force you to love Him back. That’s genuine love.

The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17.

In the weeks to follow I will be sharing more of my journey thus far with you in hopes that God will touch your life and lead you to a relationship with Him. He never promises that we won’t go through trials and suffering, but if you are truly a child of God, He promises to get you through it. Jesus teaches us, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. I implore you to give Him chance. You will NEVER regret it.

Please feel free to contact me through this website, confidentially of course. I have added a ‘contact me’ page for this purpose.   I do not have all the answers, but I will do my best to get you any help you might need throughout this journey we call life. Blessings to you all.

National Statistics on Child Abuse

In 2015, an estimated 1,670 children died from abuse and neglect in the United States.1 In 2015, Children’s Advocacy Centers around the country served more than 311,0002 child victims of abuse, providing victim advocacy and support to these children and their families.

Nearly 700,000 children are abused in the U.S annually. An estimated 683,000 children (unique incidents) were victims of abuse and neglect in 2015, the most recent year for which there is national data.

CPS protects more than 3 million children. Approximately 3.4 million children received an investigation or alternative response from child protective services agencies. 2.3 million children received prevention services.

The youngest children were most vulnerable to maltreatment. Children in the first year of their life had the highest rate of victimization of 24.2 per 1,000 children in the national population of the same age.

Neglect is the most common form of maltreatment. Of the children who experienced maltreatment or abuse, three-quarters suffered neglect; 17.2% suffered physical abuse; and 8.4% suffered sexual abuse. (Some children are polyvictimized—they have suffered more than one form of maltreatment.)

About four out of five abusers are the victims’ parents. A parent of the child victim was the perpetrator in 78.1% of substantiated cases of child maltreatment.

How Children’s Advocacy Centers Served Children: Statistics 2

Children’s Advocacy Centers served more than 311,000 children around the country in 2015. Here’s a snapshot of these children.

Child Victims Served by CACs by Age, 2015 | Ages 0-6, 37%; Ages 7-12, 37%; Ages 13-17, 26%

Two-thirds of children served disclosed sexual abuse (205,438).

Nearly 20% of children served disclosed physical abuse (60,897).

211,831 children received on-site forensic interviewing at a Children’s Advocacy Center.

People Investigated for Abuse

People Investigated by Age | 18+ 77%; 13-17, 13%; Under 13, 10% | Relationship to Victim | Known, not family, 10%; Parent or Caregiver, 39%; Relative of Child, 51%

Of those alleged to have abused children, nearly a quarter were themselves children.

Almost 40% were a parent or caregiver of the child victim.

Fully 90% of alleged abusers were related in some way to the child victim.

It Shouldn’t Hurt to Be a Child


How a system to protect children couldn’t save this little girl from the abuse that finally killed her

By Gwyneth Gibby

Corvallis Gazette-Times

The call 911 dispatchers hate the most is, “Child not breathing.”

On June 3, 2005, at about 1:45 p.m., a frantic Sarah Sheehan made that call. She had arrived at her boyfriend’s house to find her daughter, 3-year-old Karly, lying limp on the floor of a bedroom. Karly’s left eye was swollen shut with a large bruise. Her right eye was open and fixed. She was not breathing.

Police and paramedics tried to revive Karly for 45 minutes but failed. Doctors at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center pronounced her dead at 2:40 p.m.

The nurses and doctors in the emergency room were shocked at the extent of Karly’s injuries. Dr. Carol Chervenak, an expert on child abuse who examined Karly after her death, counted 60 injuries all over Karly’s tiny body, from her head to the bottoms of her feet.

Karly had been beaten to death.

Corvallis police detectives immediately began to investigate. David Sheehan, Karly’s father, and his ex-wife, Sarah, were interviewed separately. Sarah’s boyfriend, Shawn Field, who had been at home when Karly died, accompanied police to the Law Enforcement Center and remained there for hours while detectives tried to put the pieces together.

There was an extra element of tragedy in Karly’s death. The Department of Human Services still had an open case involving Karly. According to their files she was possibly the victim of child abuse. Karly’s babysitter had called DHS the previous November to say Karly was losing her hair and saying her “daddy” hit her.

Even after Field was tried and convicted of murder in Karly’s case, questions haunted those familiar with the matter: Could her death have been prevented? Are there loopholes in the child-abuse investigation process through which her life slipped?

To try to answer those questions, the Gazette-Times interviewed many of the principals in Karly’s case and reviewed the testimony and evidence in Field’s murder trial. The review shows the difficulties inherent in investigating allegations of child abuse, and it spotlights gaps in the system that officials are trying to plug.

The story starts with another phone call, this one seven months before Karly’s death.

Nov. 16, 2004

It was lunchtime at day care when Delynn Zoller heard the words she hated to hear. They came from a little girl named Karla. Everyone called her Karly. She was not yet 3 years old and she had been coming to Zoller’s day care since June. Zoller knew Karly as a happy, spunky girl.

She was playful, smart and precociously verbal. So when Karly spoke out of the blue at lunch, Zoller was taken aback.

“My dad hits me all the time,” Karly said.

“What?” Zoller asked, stunned.

“Yes, he hits me on the head all the time,” Karly said.

“Daddy David?” Zoller asked.


Karly’s parents, David and Sarah Sheehan, both in their late 20s, were divorced. But as far as Zoller knew they had an amicable relationship and shared custody of Karly. True, there had been signs lately that all was not well with Karly. She normally had long, blond hair, but in the last week of October Sarah had brought her to day care with her hair cut short. Sarah said she had French-braided Karly’s hair and it became so matted overnight that she had to cut it off. After that Karly seemed to lose hair gradually until there were balding patches.

She had also been sleeping for hours and hours at day care as though she were exhausted. Zoller had also noticed Karly wasn’t crying as much for her mother lately. She was focused on her father and cried for him all the time.

“You need to talk to my daddy,” Karly told Zoller.

“What should I say?” Zoller asked.

“You need to tell him, ‘No!'” Karly C Zoller was on the phone to the DHS Child Abuse hotline. A DHS screener, Anita Parker, wrote up a report. While she was on the phone with Zoller, Parker could hear Karly in the background ask when her daddy was coming to pick her up.

“When (Zoller) stated to Karly, ‘Oh honey, your mommy is coming to get you tonight,'” wrote the DHS caseworker, “Karly was then heard begin to sob severely & say repeatedly to (Zoller) ‘I want my daddy, I want my daddy.'”

The report said Zoller had major concerns for Karly but didn’t know what needed to be done.

David Sheehan is Irish. He has sandy hair and Karly had inherited his blue eyes. He worked in computers, having worked for Hewlett-Packard in Corvallis and then gotten a job at Flextronics where he traveled more often, sometimes to the Far East.

Sarah Sheehan is from northeast Oregon. She was pretty with bright brown eyes and a sweet smile. They met at the Peacock in Corvallis early in 1997. After a slow courtship, with David moving back to Ireland and working in other parts of Europe, they married in October 1998.

Karly was born Jan. 4, 2002. By summertime, though, David and Sarah had separated. Their divorce became final in the summer of 2004, when Karly was 2½. Although there was no formal child support agreement, David was generous with Sarah and spent whatever was needed to maintain a good lifestyle for Karly.

That night, after Zoller called DHS, Karly went home with Sarah.

The next day, during breakfast at day care, Karly cried again for her daddy. She slept for most of the day. Zoller talked to Parker again and also to Matt Stark, the DHS case worker assigned to investigate. Zoller told Stark that Karly’s parents had made an appointment to see her doctor that afternoon at 4:45. Stark made arrangements to meet the Sheehans there.

Dr. Shanika DeSoyza had been seeing Karly since birth.

“She was a great little girl,” DeSoyza said. “She had a great personality – mischievous. She liked to crawl around the exam area and mess with the medical supplies.”

DeSoyza thought Karly was clingy and subdued that day. She also had a small bruise on her right cheek, hair loss on the crown of her head and some discoloration there. It could have been a bruise. DeSoyza ordered blood tests.

At the doctor’s office, Stark spoke with David, Sarah and Karly together. He noted Karly stayed close to David.

“When she was not occupying herself,” Stark wrote in his report, “Karly sought the attention and contact of her father exclusively.”

David told Stark it seemed someone was pulling Karly’s hair out, and he didn’t think it was Karly.

Sarah said she thought Karly was more anxious lately because of her parents’ separation. Sarah had recently moved in with her new boyfriend, Shawn Field. But she didn’t think the move was causing Karly anxiety because she thought the situation with Field and his 8-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn, was “very stable.”

Stark asked Sarah if Karly was ever alone with Field. David looked her right in the eye as she answered. She said no.

Stark asked to interview Karly alone. Even with a nurse present, Karly wouldn’t make eye contact with Stark and began to cry and ask for her daddy. So Stark abandoned the interview.

The next day, the case was discussed by the Child Abuse Response Team, CART. The team includes representatives from DHS, the District Attorney’s office, Corvallis Police and the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, ABC (All Because of Children) House, the juvenile department and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), a volunteer group that offers court advocates for juveniles. The team agreed that Stark should try again to interview Karly, this time in a comfortable setting for her at Zoller’s day care.

There was one more thing Zoller had told Stark that was not discussed at the CART meeting – Zoller said David had expressed some concerns about Sarah’s new boyfriend, Field.

“When Karly has talked about her dad hitting her,” Stark wrote in his report, “(Zoller) wonders if it is her father or the boyfriend she is talking about.”

Karly had told Zoller that Field spanked her sometimes.

“Ms. Zoller believes the mother works at night and does not know who watches Karly,” Stark noted in his report.

Stark’s attempt to interview Karly at day care was unsuccessful. Karly again cried and asked for her daddy.

A week later Karly’s blood tests came back. They were all normal. Child abuse expert Dr. Carol Chervenak, from ABC House, told Stark that because medical reasons for the hair loss had been ruled out, that left “inflicted loss.” Someone was pulling out Karly’s hair. But who?

David called to tell Stark he and Sarah agreed Karly would only spend one night a week at Field’s house. David thought Karly was better after spending the night at his own house.

Stark checked Field out for a criminal record – and found one hit, a case from 2001 in which Field’s wife, Eileen, had called the police because Field had pushed her and threatened to have her killed. No arrest was made and no charges were filed.

To get a better sense of what life was like at the Field residence, Stark and detective Karin Stauder, who was assigned to the case, went to interview Kaitlyn Field at school. Kaitlyn seemed introspective to Stark. But she was in good health and there was nothing about her that caused him to be concerned. She told Stauder and Stark that when she or Karly did something wrong, they were sent to the corner. Sometimes they got spanked. She never saw anyone pull Karly’s hair, although sometimes Kaitlyn’s dad would pull Kaitlyn’s hair playfully.

When Stauder called Field to let him know they had talked to Kaitlyn, she asked if she could talk to him freely about Karly. He said, Yes.

“I asked Shawn if Karly has ever mentioned anyone hitting her,” Stauder reported, “and he said she has told him, ‘My daddy hit me.’ Shawn asked Karly where and he said she pointed to her head, her back and her nose.”

He also told Stauder he had seen Karly pull her own hair and tell herself she was bad. He felt Sarah sent Karly to the corner too often but didn’t think she was abusing Karly. He thought David was strict, but not excessively so.

When Stauder reported back to Stark after this conversation, she said she needed to talk to David. Up to this point, Stark had done all the interviewing of the Sheehans.

In the meantime, Zoller reported that Karly was doing better. She had been spending more time with her dad and was less clingy and didn’t cry as much. She was playing more with the other kids at day care.

“She attributes the change to being around mom’s boyfriend less,” Stark reported.

On Dec. 6, David dropped Karly off at day care. Then he met Stauder and Stark at the DHS office in Corvallis.

To David their message was clear: “We are investigating you for child abuse.”

“They flat-out told me,” David said. “That was a very sobering thing to hear.”

Stauder said she was tough on David. When she told him Karly said he was hitting her, David was visibly upset – he told the detective that he didn’t know why she would say that.

“Do you suspect Sarah is abusing Karly?” Stauder asked.

“Absolutely not,” David said.

Nor, he said, did he have any reason to think Field was. David said he had seen Karly pull her own hair once, when she had a temper tantrum once in November 2004.

David offered to take a polygraph. Stauder and Stark noted his willingness in their reports, but David thought they were dismissive.

“They said, ‘A lot of people offer to take polygraphs, but they don’t follow through.'”

Police did give David a polygraph, but not till June 2005.

At the end of the interview they told David they weren’t sure what to conclude. The three possible findings for the investigation were Unfounded for Abuse, Founded and Unable to Determine.

“They were on the fence between Unfounded and Indeterminate,” David recalled. “They said, ‘We cannot tell if you are doing it.'”

Sarah met with Stauder and Stark the next day.

“Sarah said David is a terrific dad,” Stauder reported, “doesn’t think he is hitting Karly, doesn’t know why she would say he did.”

Sarah also didn’t think Field was abusing Karly.

Stauder told Sarah that sometimes an abuser will pull a child’s hair because it doesn’t leave marks. But Sarah thought Karly was just stressed because of her move in with Field. And DeSoyza had mentioned to her a disorder that could be responsible for Karly’s condition.

DeSoyza knew of a disorder called trichotillomania, a stress reaction not unlike nail-biting, that leads people to pull out their hair. It happens most frequently around adolescence, but children as young as 4 can have it. DeSoyza had seen four or five cases in her career. Doctors are able to diagnose the disorder by excluding other possibilities.

Child abuse was on the list of possible causes for Karly’s condition, according to DeSoyza, but it wasn’t high on the list.

“I didn’t think it could be completely ruled out,” DeSoyza said. But she didn’t tell David or Sarah.

“I didn’t have any strong suspicion of abuse at the time,” she said. “I thought it was possible someone had frightened her.”

Stauder checked with some hairdressers and learned that people could lose their hair because of stress. After conferring again with Stark, she wrote her report.

“Disposition: Case Unfound. Based on the information I learned in my investigation, I do not believe Sarah or David are physically abusing Karly; nor anyone else I identified.”

Stark concurred.

“Staffed case with Supervisor Sara Stanke,” he wrote. “This referral can be Unfounded for physical abuse. We have different people witnessing the child pulling her own hair. This is most likely the result of stress associated with Karly and her mother moving in with the boyfriend in October and seeing less of her father due to changes in his employment. The child’s condition is currently improved as she is spending more time with the father.”

Stark phoned David and Sarah and left messages informing them of the result of the investigation.

David was relieved to hear the case had been closed as unfounded. But he thought the only reason he had been cleared was that Sarah didn’t think he was abusing Karly, and that concerned him. Stark and Stauder had left him saying they were on the fence about him. It was only after talking to Sarah they concluded he was telling the truth. He felt they relied more on her word than on his.

When investigators closed their case Dec. 7, Karly went home with her mother to Shawn Field’s house.

Sarah Sheehan met Shawn Field in a bar in September 2004, and it seemed they had things in common. Both were divorced and had daughters, both were students at OSU. They clicked, and the relationship progressed quickly.

“After the first week, Mr. Field started mentioning marriage and moving in,” Sarah said.

Sarah wasn’t good with money. Field said he had a master’s degree in economics and was going for a Ph.D., so it seemed like a good idea to let him control her finances. Soon he insisted she put all her tips from bartending in a jar, and he’d give her an allowance. After they moved in together, Field gave Sarah grocery lists and insisted she buy only what he chose. He said he was investing her money for her. When she questioned him about it, he became angry with her for not trusting him.

“Oppressive and sad,” is how Sarah later described the relationship.

Field was also critical of Sarah’s arrangement with David. He told Sarah good mothers stayed home with their children. If she made a legal settlement with David that included child support for Karly, then Sarah could stop working and stay home.

“I began to feel like a bad mother,” Sarah said.

Field told her she was lucky to have someone like him in her life.

But Field wasn’t telling Sarah the truth: He had no degrees beyond high school, he was not a Ph.D. candidate, and he was not investing her money.

Field also had a criminal record. As a 16-year-old, he committed a series of burglaries with two friends. They imprisoned the mother of one friend, robbed the friend’s house, and set off to steal a truck owned by Field’s brother. The plan was to head across country and take up a life of skiing in Aspen, Colo. They didn’t get far before sheriff’s deputies caught up with them. Because the crimes occurred when Field was a juvenile, most of the record was later expunged. One file containing investigation reports from the kidnap/burglary had been overlooked and still remained in law enforcement files. But it lay forgotten, presumed destroyed until months after the DHS investigation ended.

Sarah knew nothing of Field’s past. She only knew that Karly seemed upset and stressed when she moved in with him.

Karly was stressed for a good reason. She was upset because Field, who at 6-feet-4 inches towered over her, pulled her hair out, which left no marks, hit her on the head where bruises wouldn’t show and terrorized her into silence. He did it when she was left alone with him, when there were no witnesses.

Karly was the only one who knew. She had tried to tell Zoller, but at the age of 2, she was only able to communicate part of the story. Whether Field had schooled her to accuse “daddy,” no one knows.

Karly’s behavior, her clinging to David, her crying for him and her panic at being taken to Field’s house, directly contradicted her words, leaving her parents puzzled and very worried. Karly was too terrified to say more.

Karly’s condition had improved while staying with David during the three-week investigation. Now it was her turn to be with Sarah – and Field.

The week after Karly went back to the house where Sarah Sheehan lived with Shawn Field, Sarah wasn’t feeling well and spent much of the week in bed.

“I was exhausted to the point where my extremities hurt,” Sarah said. “It hurt to have my eyes open. Beyond sick and exhausted.”

Field took care of Karly and Kaitlyn, Field’s 8-year-old daughter.

When Sarah got up to use the bathroom, which was between the master bedroom and the girls’ room, Field would block the girls’ door so she couldn’t go in and check on Karly. Before Field finally did bring Karly in to see Sarah on Friday, Dec. 10, the day before Karly was to return to David, he told Sarah to prepare herself. He said Karly had been hurting herself again.

“When he handed her off to me she said ‘Mommy I hurt myself’ in a really tiny voice,” Sarah said. “But she didn’t look at me.”

Karly’s hair was almost gone. She had bruises and scratches on her face.

“I just held her and cuddled with her,” Sarah said. “I was just shocked.”

When Karly got to David’s the next day, all she could do was cling to him. David was in a state of shock. He held her all day while she slept in his arms.

“I couldn’t put her down,” he said. “Any sense of movement, she’d wake from her sleep and cry.”

She didn’t say anything about what had happened to her.

Soon after arriving home with Karly, David took her to some friends’ next door so they could see her. With fresh memories of the earlier investigation in his mind – an investigation in which David thought he had been targeted as a possible abuser n he wanted someone to witness that he had done nothing to Karly, that she had arrived at his house in a horrifying state.

After he got Karly to sleep by herself at about 7 p.m., David called Matt Stark and left a long voice-mail message.

David’s friends were concerned, too. Word got to a DHS employee who called the child-abuse hotline. Late that night, Corvallis police officer Dave Cox went to do a welfare check on Karly. He reported back to DHS.

“Officer Cox is stating that the child’s appearance is pretty bad but in his experience it appears to be self-inflicted,” the DHS screener noted. “Officer Cox has informed both parents of their obligation and responsibility to seek appropriate care for their child, whether that be a physician or psychiatrist.”

The screener also noted that Cox had pictures. Stark was out of the office so Elizabeth Castillo, another DHS case worker, responded to David’s call. Castillo took pictures of Karly on the following Monday. Those pictures were mislaid. No one saw them.

DeSoyza saw Karly on Monday, too. She reported seeing abrasions on the left side of Karly’s scalp and swelling of the left eyelid. The white part of her eye was bloodshot. Karly clung to David during the appointment. DeSoyza still thought Karly was hurting herself.

When child abuse expert Dr. Chervenak saw the pictures David took of Karly at his house, she did not agree. But she didn’t see the pictures until several more months had passed. When she did see them, she said it was highly unlikely that Karly, small as she was, would have the muscle mass to injure herself so severely. Chervenak said facial bruises in a child Karly’s age were extremely rare. Children do get bruises, but usually on places like their shins.

In view of Cox’s report, Stauder chose not to reopen the police investigation. Stark followed up, and went to interview Field and Sarah.

“Mr. Field presented as somewhat defensive,” Stark reported. “When interviewed he said, ‘I’ll answer general questions, but not anything else without my attorney.'”