Jury selection began today in the murder trial of Aaron Thompson, who’s accused of murdering his daughter Aarone (pronounced Aaron-ay, I think). Aarone’s case is particularly sad. Aaron took her and her siblings away from their mother in Michigan and moved to Colorado in 2001. He shacked up with Shely Lowe. The family — Aaron, Aarone, her brother, Lowe, Lowe’s brother and Lowe’s five children, that’s ten people — were living in Aurora when Aaron reported his daughter missing in November 2005. He said she ran away after an argument about a cookie.
Aaron’s story quickly fell apart. There was no indication of Aarone’s presence in the house — no bed or toothbrush for her, no recent pictures. She hadn’t been enrolled in school. She hadn’t been to see a doctor in several years. Most tellingly, her siblings, once they got away from their parents, told the police they hadn’t seen Aarone in about a year and a half. The Thompson/Lowe home was in bad shape and the children were all being abused; hardly a day went by when at least one of them wasn’t beaten for trivial reasons. All the children were taken into foster care. Lowe was pregnant when Aarone disappeared, and when the baby was born it too was taken from her. The police openly said Aarone had been murdered and they had a pretty good idea who did it.
Unfortunately, Lowe is beyond earthly justice — she died of heart disease shortly after her baby was born. She was only in her early thirties. Aaron was indicted on sixty charges, including Aarone’s murder and the abuse of the other children in the household, in May 2007. If he gets convicted he could get 48 years to life in prison. Aarone’s murder may be hard to pin on him. The defense can always blame Lowe, and she can’t say anything about it. But it sounds like it would be easy to convict Aaron of abusing his other kids, and he would serve substantial time for that.
That poor little girl never had a chance. Her so-called caregivers made her life a misery and ended it all too soon, then buried her body in some makeshift grave like so much garbage. Her siblings said she was locked in the closet a lot as punishment. One article I read said Aarone would stick her fingers out under the door and one of her siblings would touch them, just to let her know they were there. It’s just so incredibly sad — all the more so since Aarone’s mother is apparently a decent enough woman and, if Aaron hadn’t stolen the children, Aarone would probably be alive and well today. The case reminds me so much of Peter Kema‘s 1997 disappearance in Hawaii.
No prison sentence would be sufficient for Aaron Thompson, I’m afraid. I just hope the jury realizes this as well.