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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Erica Baker - Feb. 7, 1999 - OH  (Read 14948 times)
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xx What Happened to Erica - Suspects Stories Differ
« Reply #60 on: Jun 20th, 2005, 11:27am »

By Rob Modic

DAYTON | During a seven-month period, Christian John Gabriel gave three widely varying written statements about his role in the death of 9-year-old Erica Baker, who disappeared from a Kettering park on Feb. 7, 1999.
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Gabriel gave the written statements to Kettering police and Clark County sheriff's deputies, which were obtained Monday by the Dayton Daily News in response to a request for public records filed in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

Gabriel first said in July 2004 that he was among three passengers in a van driven by his girlfriend, Jan Franks. Gabriel said he heard a "thump," and Franks and the other passengers got out and brought a body into the van. Gabriel later found out the body was that of Erica Baker, according to the statement. Gabriel said Baker's body was taken to Huffman MetroPark, where the others took her body into the woods.

In November, Gabriel wrote that only he and Jan Franks were in the van. The statement does not specify who was driving when the girl was struck. Gabriel described pulling the girl's body from under the van and then following Franks' directions as he drove to a secluded wooded place where they buried the girl's body.

On Feb. 7, 2005 ó the sixth anniversary of Erica's disappearance and three days after Gabriel was indicted on gross abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence in the case ó Gabriel signed a brief statement at the Southeastern Correctional Institution claiming he did not even own the van at the time of the girl's death. He claimed he had traded the van to another man in exchange for a station wagon.

"I'm not taking the fall for someone else because if I can't remember doing it why confess to it," Gabriel wrote.

On Thursday, Kettering Detective Robert Green described how police spent months looking at Huffman MetroPark, Caesar Creek State Park, Eastwood Lake and even the Stoney Hollow landfill off Vance Road following leads that Gabriel began giving them on July 27, 2004, after Clark County deputies arrested him on an unrelated charge of receiving stolen property.

Erica has never been found.

For three years, Montgomery County prosecutors have also been attempting to get former federal public defender Beth Lewis in front of a grand jury to reveal what Jan Franks may have told her about the case while Lewis was representing the woman on unrelated federal drug charges. Franks died of a drug overdose at a Dayton homeless shelter Dec. 30, 2001.

See Tuesday's newspaper for more on this story.

Contact Rob Modic at (937) 225-2282.
http://www.daytondailynews.com/localnews/content/localnews/daily/0620ericaweb.html
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xx Suspect in Erica Baker Case Gave Wildly Different.
« Reply #61 on: Jun 21st, 2005, 07:13am »

Suspect in Baker Case Gave Wildly Different Statements
by Rob Modic



DAYTON ó During a seven-month period, Christian John Gabriel gave three widely varying written statements about his role in the death of 9-year-old Erica Baker, who disappeared from a Kettering park on Feb. 7, 1999.

In July 2004 he told Kettering police that he and three others were in a van when they struck Erica in the street. The other three buried her at Huffman MetroPark, he told police.

Four months later, his story changed. He was in the van with just one other person, Jan Franks, and they buried the body in a different location, according to his statement.

Three months later, his story changed again. This time he said he didn't even own a van at the time of her disappearance.

Gabriel gave the written statements to Kettering police and Clark County sheriff's deputies. They were obtained Monday by the Dayton Daily News in response to a request for public records.

The statements were admitted as exhibits in a hearing held Thursday before Judge Michael T. Hall of Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

Hall must decide if Gabriel's statements can be used at Gabriel's trial for gross abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. Hall's staff promptly produced the documents following the request.

Shortly after Clark County Sheriff's deputies arrested Gabriel on July 27, 2004, on an unrelated charge of receiving stolen property, Gabriel told them that his girlfriend, Franks, a man named Clifford Butts, and another woman were in a van when Gabriel heard a "thump." Franks, who was driving, and the other passengers got out and brought a body into the van, according to the statement.

The four had been using drugs and had just left Meijer, 4075 Wilmington Pike, where they had been shoplifting, according to Gabriel's statement.

It wasn't until later that Gabriel found out the body was that of Erica Baker, according to the statement. Gabriel said Franks drove the van with the body in the back to his apartment, where the four drank alcohol and used drugs.

"I remember there being a couple of times asking if we were going to take her to the hospital and they never said anything after that," Gabriel said.

About 10 p.m., about six hours after they had struck the girl, the four drove to Huffman MetroPark, where the others took her body into the woods, Gabriel said. Gabriel said the three returned after 30 minutes with mud on their shoes and pants. Butts no longer was wearing a coat, Gabriel said.

A grand jury declined to indict Butts in connection with the case against Gabriel.

The July 2004 statement was not the first time Gabriel had commented on Erica's disappearance.

Two years earlier, in July 2002, he told the Dayton Daily News he had nothing to do with the girl's disappearance, and he said Franks never mentioned it to him.

"I'm being accused of something I've had nothing to do with," Gabriel told the newspaper at the time. "If I knew anything, I would tell. I've got kids of my own."

Gabriel also discounted Jan Franks' claims that she had been in the vehicle that struck Erica.

"She was a crackhead, so she's going to say anything," Gabriel told the newspaper.

On Thursday, Kettering Detective Robert Green testified to Judge Hall about how police spent months looking at Huffman MetroPark, Caesar Creek State Park, Eastwood Lake and even the Stoney Hollow landfill off Vance Road following leads that Gabriel began giving them in July.

Erica's body has never been found.

http://www.middletownjournal.com/hp/content/news/stories/2005/06/21/mj0621erica.html

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xx Attorney Could Be Forced To Testify In Erica Baker
« Reply #62 on: Jun 22nd, 2005, 4:38pm »

DAYTON, Ohio -- A judge has granted a lawyer 30 days to persuade a federal appeals court to stop a grand jury from ordering her testimony in the case of a missing 9-year-old girl now believed dead.

U.S. District Judge Walter Rice ruled Tuesday that former federal public defender Beth Lewis must appeal within 10 days and get a longer stay from the federal appeals court before his 30-day stay expires.

Rice ruled in April that the attorney-client defense doesn't prevent prosecutors from forcing Lewis to reveal what she may know about Erica Baker, who hasn't been seen for six years.

Rice could have put Tuesday's ruling into effect immediately, meaning Lewis would have been forced to testify or face the prospect of going to jail for contempt while she appealed Rice's order. Lewis asked Rice to give her time to appeal.

In 2002, a grand jury investigating the 1999 disappearance of Erica directed Lewis to testify about what a client, Jan Franks who died of a drug overdose the year before, may have told her about Erica's disappearance.

According to court documents, police have information that Franks and other people may have been in a van that struck and killed Erica.

Lewis has refused to testify, but prosecutors argued that she must because Franks' husband, Shane Franks, gave her permission to do so. Ohio is one of the few states that allow a surviving spouse to give permission for an attorney to reveal privileged conversations between lawyers and clients.

In February, prosecutors announced that they believe Erica is dead. They have accused Christian John Gabriel, 33, of Springfield, of disposing of the girl's body. Gabriel has pleaded innocent to charges of corpse abuse and evidence tampering.

http://www.channelcincinnati.com/news/4639348/detail.html
« Last Edit: Jun 22nd, 2005, 4:38pm by FindCarrie » User IP Logged

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xx Sweet Sixteen for Erica Baker 6-22-05
« Reply #63 on: Jun 22nd, 2005, 5:05pm »

Happy Sweet Sixteen Birthday today Erica Baker. I know that Debbie will be @ your gathering tonight. I wish I could join you all.

Thinking of you today sweet lady. You will be found soon.

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xx Parents Hold Vigil On Erica Baker's 16th Birthday
« Reply #64 on: Jun 23rd, 2005, 06:03am »

Instead of celebrating her sweet 16th birthday, a Tri-state family made an emotional plea to those involved in their daughter's disappearance to come clean.

Erica Baker, of Kettering, Ohio, disappeared in 1999 while out on a walk with her dog.

On Wednesday night her family held a vigil in front of the courthouse in Dayton.

This makes for her seventh birthday since she vanished and her family says it's only gotten harder because they still don't know what happened.

Recently attorney Beth Lewis got a 30-day stay to keep her from giving testimony on what a now-deceased client told her.

Christian Gabriel, a suspect in the case, has already given several different statements.

http://www.wcpo.com/news/2005/local/06/22/erica_baker.html
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xx Lawyer told to testify in lost girl case
« Reply #65 on: Jun 24th, 2005, 05:32am »

Dayton- A judge has granted a lawyer 30 days to convince a federal appeals court to stop a grand jury requesting her testimony in the case of a missing 9-year-old girl now believed dead.

U.S. District Judge Walter Rice ruled Tuesday that former federal public defender Beth Lewis must file an appeal within 10 days and get a longer stay from the federal appeals court before his 30-day stay expires.

Rice ruled in April that the attorney-client defense doesn't prevent prosecutors from forcing Lewis to reveal what she may know about Erica Baker, who hasn't been seen for six years.

"We are pleased that the court has granted its stay, and we will be proceeding" in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said S. Adele Shank, a lawyer representing Lewis.

In 2002, a grand jury investigating the 1999 disappearance of Baker directed Lewis to testify about what a client, Jan Franks who died of a drug overdose the year before, may have told her about Erica's disappearance.

According to court documents, police have information that Franks and other people may have been in a van that struck and killed Erica.

Lewis has refused to testify, citing attorney-client privilege.

However, prosecutors argued that Lewis must testify because Franks' husband, Shane Franks, gave her permission to do so. Ohio is one of the few states that allow a surviving spouse to give permission for an attorney to reveal privileged conversations between lawyers and clients.

After giving his permission, Shane Franks withdrew it and then reversed himself and gave it again.

In February, prosecutors announced that they believe Erica is dead.

They have accused Christian John Gabriel, 33, of Springfield, of disposing of the girl's body.

Gabriel has pleaded not guilty to charges of corpse abuse and evidence tampering.

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xx Man's Statements About Erica Baker Allowed @ Trial
« Reply #66 on: Jul 19th, 2005, 06:39am »

DAYTON | A Montgomery County Common Pleas Court judge ruled Friday that all statements Christian Gabriel gave to police and to a state prison official could be used at his trial on gross abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence stemming from the Feb. 7, 1999, disappearance of 9-year-old Erica Baker from a Kettering park.

Judge Michael T. Hall also ruled that he would not admit as evidence in the suppression pre-trial hearing video tapes of additional statements Gabriel gave to police. He said the tapes were not necessary for him to consider in ruling on whether Gabriel gave voluntary statements and was given Miranda warnings about his constitutional rights before he was questioned by police.

The tapes will be available to prosecutors as evidence for Gabriel's trial, Hall said.

Gabriel's attorney, Frank Malocu, said he was pleased the video taped statements were not admitted as evidence before the trial because they would have been subject to public records requests and he feared they might have jeopardized Gabriel's right to a fair trial.

Hall will set a trial date at a hearing on July 26.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/localnews/content/localnews/daily/0716baker.html
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xx Trial Date Set For Suspect In Baker Disappearance
« Reply #67 on: Jul 27th, 2005, 06:36am »

DAYTON, Ohio -- A trial date has been set for the only person charged in connection with Erica Baker's disappearance.

Christian Gabriel was in court on Tuesday morning. He was charged with tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.

Investigators said Gabriel told them he was a passenger in a van that hit and killed Baker in Kettering in 1999.

The trial date is scheduled for Oct. 3.

http://www.whiotv.com/news/4772076/detail.html
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xx Appeals court pushes back deadline for lawyer to t
« Reply #68 on: Aug 2nd, 2005, 07:17am »

DAYTON, Ohio - A former federal assistant public defender has more time to appeal a judge's ruling that would force her to testify to what a former client told her about a 9-year-old girl who has been missing for six years.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday continued a 30-day stay granted last month by U.S. District Judge Walter H. Rice to Beth Lewis, who prosecutors want to question about the 1999 disappearance of Erica Baker of Kettering.

Rice ruled in April that prosecutors can take Lewis before a grand jury, but later allowed her to put off testifying while she appeals that ruling.

Prosecutors want to know what Jan Franks may have told Lewis about Baker's disappearance before she died of a drug overdose in December 2001. Police believe Franks and other people may have been in a van that struck and killed Baker, according to court documents.

Lewis has refused to testify, but prosecutors argued that she must because Franks' husband gave her permission to do so. Ohio is one of the few states that allow a surviving spouse to give permission for an attorney to reveal privileged conversations between lawyers and clients.

In February, prosecutors announced that they believe Erica is dead. They have accused Christian John Gabriel, 33, of Springfield, of disposing of the girl's body. Gabriel has pleaded innocent to charges of corpse abuse and evidence tampering. He will stand trial in October.

Lewis represented Franks in a federal drug possession case and intervened for her when investigators tried to question the woman about the missing girl.

http://www.ohio.com/mld/beaconjournal/news/state/12280838.htm
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xx Love, faith and hope keep one mom going to next ch
« Reply #69 on: Sep 2nd, 2005, 07:41am »

Love, faith and hope -- these three things have kept me going all my life. But the last four years have put this one through a test I will never forget. It's been nearly a month since our Niqui March. We stand in unity for all the missing Niquis out there. We're gaining strength in numbers. Prayers are being answered. My life is like a book -- I close one chapter and another starts, from childhood to working for the Marting Arms during the downtown explosions to breakfast with Robert Kennedy at the Leland. He made a stop to visit downtown and see our holocaust during his campaign. This one has been on jury duty seven times and once on the grand jury. I've been loved and hated, but the love outweighs the hate.

As I sit in this chair and listen to my music, "Hope for the Hopeless," I sense joy as I write this. Hope -- a father's dying wish. Faith -- that only a mother would know. And love. The love Niqui gave and continues to send, which motivates this woman.

There are so many to thank, especially Erica Baker's family, who have been there from day one; Mrs. Bishop from National Center of Missing Adults; the organizations and factories of Richmond; the radio stations, TV stations, the news media and the general public; the lady who came to me with USA Today information; the people with information (recently) smile -- better late than not at all; and the Richmond Police Department, who this woman has bumped heads with several times and probably will again because this is more than a job to this woman. This is my life and I'm waiting to close this chapter and start anew.

Because this book hasn't been completed yet until I go home.

Barbara McCown, Richmond

McCown's daughter, Marilyn "Niqui" McCown, has been missing since July 22, 2001.

Love, faith and hope -- these three things have kept me going all my life. But the last four years have put this one through a test I will never forget. It's been nearly a month since our Niqui March. We stand in unity for all the missing Niquis out there. We're gaining strength in numbers. Prayers are being answered. My life is like a book -- I close one chapter and another starts, from childhood to working for the Marting Arms during the downtown explosions to breakfast with Robert Kennedy at the Leland. He made a stop to visit downtown and see our holocaust during his campaign. This one has been on jury duty seven times and once on the grand jury. I've been loved and hated, but the love outweighs the hate.

As I sit in this chair and listen to my music, "Hope for the Hopeless," I sense joy as I write this. Hope -- a father's dying wish. Faith -- that only a mother would know. And love. The love Niqui gave and continues to send, which motivates this woman.

There are so many to thank, especially Erica Baker's family, who have been there from day one; Mrs. Bishop from National Center of Missing Adults; the organizations and factories of Richmond; the radio stations, TV stations, the news media and the general public; the lady who came to me with USA Today information; the people with information (recently) smile -- better late than not at all; and the Richmond Police Department, who this woman has bumped heads with several times and probably will again because this is more than a job to this woman. This is my life and I'm waiting to close this chapter and start anew.

Because this book hasn't been completed yet until I go home.

Barbara McCown, Richmond

McCown's daughter, Marilyn "Niqui" McCown, has been missing since July 22, 2001.

http://www.pal-item.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050825/NEWS03/508250342/1003
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xx Pre-Trial Hearing Held For Christian Gabriel
« Reply #70 on: Sep 28th, 2005, 07:13am »

DAYTON, Ohio -- Authorities said the only man charged in connection with the disappearance of Erica Baker is set for trial.

Attorneys for Christian Gabriel and prosecutors had a final pre-trial conference Wednesday in court. They discussed what evidence and witnesses will be used during Gabrielís trial, which is set for Oct. 3.

His defense attorney has asked for a change of venue, but the judge said he will not issue a decision until Oct. 3.

Gabriel faces charges of gross abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

Beth Lewis, an attorney who may also have information about Bakerís disappearance, is scheduled to give oral arguments in a federal appeals court.

She is fighting to keep confidential what her now-deceased client, Jan Franks, told her about Bakerís disappearance.

http://www.whiotv.com/news/5003494/detail.html
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xx Trial Begins Six Years After Girl's Disappearance
« Reply #71 on: Oct 4th, 2005, 8:15pm »

DAYTON, Ohio -- A trial in the death of a 9-year-old girl is under way more than six years after she disappeared, News 5's Brian Hamrick reported.

Erica Baker, of Kettering, Ohio, vanished in February 1999 while walking her dog in the rain.

"She kept begging, and she said, 'Mom, please, I'll put on my raincoat,'" Misty Baker said. "And I finally said OK."

Baker's body was never found.

Christian Gabriel is charged with gross abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

The Montgomery County prosecutor said Gabriel admitted he ran over Baker and buried her in a shallow grave.

His defense attorney said, while his client admitted he was involved in Baker's death, Gabriel's confession came after prolonged police pressure and nearly round-the-clock surveillance.

Another attorney, Beth Lewis, said her client gave her information about Erica's death. But now that client is dead, and Lewis said she still won't tell anyone what she knows.

"You've proved your case," Greg Baker said. "You're a good lawyer. Now bring my child home. Give me that closure."

Gabriel's trial could last another week, Hamrick reported.

http://www.channelcincinnati.com/news/5058009/detail.html
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xx Second Day Of Erica Baker Case Trial
« Reply #72 on: Oct 5th, 2005, 8:06pm »

Erica Baker's grandmother took the stand Wednesday, in day two of the trial of the man accused of hiding the little girl's body back in 1999.

That testimony from Erica Baker's grandmother began hours of testimony from investigators, including a taped conversation with the defendant as he talks about what happened the day Erica Baker disappeared from her Kettering neighborhood.

Carol Strine took the stand saying while taking her dog out she saw a petite woman with a dog -- Erica's dog, which was later found alone.

The prosecution explained the defendant, Christian Gabriel, as a man who couldn't get his story straight.

The defense made it clear they believe investigators' memories have faded since Erica disappeared.

As the day came to a close, a taped conversation between Gabriel and officers allowed jurors to hear the defendant talk about the day Erica Baker disappeared.

A day he said he was drunk and high.

In that particular conversation, Gabriel says he was not driving the van that hit Erica.

To this day, where her body was hidden, is still a mystery.

That's the biggest piece of information Baker's family hopes will come from this trial.

http://www.wcpo.com/news/2005/local/10/05/baker.html
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xx Suspect told police he saw girl's death
« Reply #73 on: Oct 7th, 2005, 09:21am »

DAYTON - A man charged in the case of a girl who vanished more than six years ago repeatedly told investigators he had witnessed the 9-year-old's death in a video shown to jurors.

The videotaped interview with Clark County sheriff's deputies was played Wednesday at the trial of Christian Gabriel, 34, of Springfield, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of corpse abuse and evidence tampering. If convicted, he could face up to six years in prison.

Gabriel said in the July 19, 2004, video that he was a drunken passenger in a van that hit and killed Erica Baker in February 1999. He said his girlfriend, Jan Franks, was driving the van and two roommates of his were in the back.

The girl vanished while walking her dog near her home in suburban Kettering.

In opening statements Tuesday, Assistant Montgomery County Prosecutor Leon Daidone said Gabriel told police he was driving the van that hit the girl. The prosecutor's statement was the first time authorities have accused Gabriel of being the driver.

In the video, Gabriel said the four people in the van heard a thump, stopped and found the girl's body, which they put in the vehicle. He said they drove back to their apartment, ignoring his suggestions to take her to the hospital.

"I mean, this stuff ain't getting blamed on me," Gabriel said on the tape.

At the apartment, they met with a drug dealer and smoked crack while deciding what action to take, Gabriel said. They later drove to Huffman Dam MetroPark, where Gabriel said the other three took the body into the woods while he stayed behind and retched.

Daidone said Tuesday that Gabriel told authorities he had been shoplifting at a Kettering department store with Franks when a policeman arrived to investigate an accident. Thinking the officer was looking for him, Gabriel got into the van with Franks and drove away, Daidone said.

The prosecutor said Gabriel buried the girl's body in Caesar Creek State Park southeast of Dayton.

Defense attorney Frank Malocu said Tuesday that virtually everything Gabriel told the police about the case was false. Gabriel made the statements because he wanted to get investigators off his back after intense questioning and surveillance, he said.

In the video, Gabriel said, "I'm tired of it, man. I'm tired of being hassled."

Authorities say Gabriel took them to several sites where he thought Erica's body was buried, but no remains have been found.

Sabrina Lyons, one of the roommates who Gabriel says on the video was in the van, denied being involved in the girl's disappearance.

Lyons also testified Wednesday that Franks, who died in 2001, never drove the van.

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051007/NEWS01/510070388/1056
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xx Emotional Outbursts At Erica Baker Trial
« Reply #74 on: Oct 8th, 2005, 4:21pm »

Reported by: 9News
Web produced by: Neil Relyea
Photographed by: 9News
10/8/2005 11:50:33 AM



A chaotic outburst marked the sentencing in Dayton of a man connected to the 1999 death and disappearance of then nine-year-old Erica Baker.

As Judge Michael Hall gave the defendant, Christian Gabriel, the maximum six years in prison, the courtroom erupted in chaos involving Gabriel and his mother.

"The long and the short of that is that the court is going to make your sentences consecutive," said the judge.

"I don't give a ####. #### that #### man," responded Gabriel.

"Please remove him from the courtroom," responded the judge.

"If you just let me talk to him he'll tell me," Gabriel's mother called out.

"This #### was a whole ####### lie man," Gabriel continued.

To which the judge responded, "Remove him from the courtroom."

Gabriel was convicted for gross abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

Baker's body has never been found.

Emotions were also high as her parents, Misty and Greg Baker, confronted Gabriel in court.

"Your killing and hiding of Erica's body has put us through so much sorrow and our family cannot take it anymore," said Misty Baker at the stand.

"I just want to let know you as one father to another, if you do know please tell us because having a child missing is not a great feeling," said Greg Baker as he pleaded with the defendant.

Still pending is the case against attorney Beth Lewis.

Lewis has refused to release information she may know about the case, citing confidentiality through attorney-client privilege.

Lewis represented a woman who was in the van with Gabriel the night Erica disappeared.

Her client has since died.

http://www.wcpo.com/news/2005/local/10/08/baker_trial.html
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Caring About All Missing & Murdered People
Please visit www.FindCarrieCulberson.Com
And www.AngelGardenOfHope.Com
My group inspired to help others because of Carrie.
See also our missing & murdered person blog
http://findcarrie.blogspot.com
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