This is kind of horrifying to me

I read many of articles from different publications about the drowning deaths of brothers Ayden Leroy Cecil and Anthony Joseph Tullius, and I really can’t understand why their parents were charged with anything.

When I saw the headlines that said things like “Toddlers drowned while parents slept”, I thought perhaps maybe the parents were passed out under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or didn’t begin to look for the kids for hours, or something like that. I mean, there HAD to be more to the story, right?

I can only go by what’s been reported and I can’t find any more to the story.

On that tragic night they set up camp at a designated campsite near the river, and everyone went to bed. Dad zipped the tent and tightened the top zipper. Mom took one Xanax before bed, as her prescription said she should. Dad was exhausted after a long week of work. They went to sleep. And sometime during the night the boys unzipped the bottom zipper of the tent (which Dad had forgotten to tighten) and wandered into the river.

This is all terrible and I’m sure any parent in that situation would be full of what-ifs and should-haves and blaming themselves for a very long time, if not the rest of their days on earth, but I don’t see how this rises to the level of a crime.

At their first trial the children’s mother, Kasey, would insinuate her husband, their stepfather Richard, may have killed them on purpose. This is because, although Kasey thought she’d removed Ayden’s shoes before bed and he couldn’t put them on by himself, when his body was found he was wearing the shoes. I think it’s more likely that Kasey simply forgot to remove the shoes (she’d put them on over his sleeper so he could run around and play during the evening). If Richard were planning on tossing the boys in the river it doesn’t make any sense for him to have put their shoes on.

I myself nearly drowned as a five-year-old and a police officer had to pound life back into my chest after they pulled me out of Lake Michigan. This is because my mom, who was on lifeguard duty, decided to help the other adults pull a boat ashore and was distracted for a few minutes. Obviously she should not have done that, but the idea that a parent would be charged with a crime in such a situation is appalling to me.

As this story was reported I can’t understand why the Kleins were even charged, never mind convicted, in their children’s drowning deaths. Was something left out or was this the overzealous prosecution is appears to have been?

6 thoughts on “This is kind of horrifying to me

    • Meaghan February 20, 2020 / 8:09 pm

      Do you think these people should never have been parents? If so, why?

      • broughtonchristine2gmailcom February 21, 2020 / 1:28 pm

        Please don’t get me wrong I know their are so many wonderful parents. But never being able to have children of my own which I wanted so badly and because of my own childhood.
        I just read so many cases of child abuse and neglect it saddens me. I feel children are a gift from God. Hope you have a Great Weekend

  1. Sheila Roberts February 20, 2020 / 6:33 pm

    I knew a woman who was unfamiliar with driving on snowy roads, skid through a stop sign, was t-boned and both her small children died in the accident. She was not speeding or drinking, the kids were properly buckled in car seats and the police couldn’t find any fault except that her car slid on the icy road. A prosecutor decided to charge her with two counts of vehicular homicide. She pled guilty because she felt so guilty. The prosecutor said she should have stayed home if she was inexperienced at driving on snow, but she had felt that the errand was too important to skip. I thought there must be something she was leaving out of the story because I couldn’t believe that would charge her for that when she clearly was punished by the circumstances themselves. When I looked it up online, I felt even worse for her. Two police officers actually turned in resignations because they had investigated the accident and refused to help the prosecution with the case because they believed it was simply an accident. This sounds like a similar scenario.

  2. Karine February 20, 2020 / 9:48 pm

    I agree. Accidents happen so fast with young kids. I lost my 4 years old nephew at a camping site a few years ago. Luckily, he was found unharmed after 20 minutes, but those were the longest 20 minutes of all my life. I swear to god, I was explaining something to him while walking, one second he was there, and gone the next. I will never again be judgemental. You can be the best parent in the world, and have something horrible happens to your kids. And it’s just an accident, no one’s fault.

  3. DOC February 26, 2020 / 5:00 pm

    Very, very sad. But I do believe there’s more to the story, yes. Something paved the way for the idea – saying that Richard wanted the kids dead – to go forward. Whatever that may have been, and however it came about, it must’ve existed for it to have been used in this way – even if unsuccessfully so.

    Also, that the mom would “go there” regarding her planned defense, says so much.

    Another thing I find interesting is that Richard had the thought of securing the zipperage, at least as it may otherwise appear, and yet did it in such a way that lent itself – absolutely perfectly – to the boys getting out. Boys he knew to have a habit of roaming at night, to the point he’d chosen to install a lock on their bedroom door at home. Boys he knew were now dangerously close to the river that he (Richard) had chosen to place them near. Boys that he knew witnout question would be threatened by that environment.

    He wanted to give an appearance, in other words, of doing the right thing and “securing” the zipper(s) while actually leaving the situation completely unsecure – and he knew it.

    It doesn’t add up, in my opinion, and looks to be a “passive-aggressive” attempt on the boys’ safety, by (I believe, solely, if so) Richard. At the very least, though, I don’t think anyone can deny terrible recklessness took place and that these boys (one with C.P.) paid the price with their lives.

    It is heartbreaking.

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