Florida’s Children

by Tiffany | December 3, 2019 11:00 pm

I’m not sure what it is about Florida but we get a lot of highly publicized cases, but especially about children who are reported missing. These are cases that have reached nationwide if not globally. These are cases that reach people’s hearts and people become very invested in them. Especially, the children in these cases they become Florida’s children.

Trigger Warning, the details in these cases are very disturbing, mentions of child abuse, and murder. I will not go into too many details, but it still needs to be mentioned.

At the beginning of November, on the 6th in Jacksonville, Florida Taylor Williams was reported as missing, the Amber Alert went out across Florida. Suddenly, a week later Taylor’s body was found in Alabama in multiple garbage bags.

At the very beginning of this case, people have seen the similarities between little Taylor and Lonize Barton, Haleigh Cummings, and Caylee Anthony. It seemed like minutes after the news when out about her missing, that Law Enforcement had taken and towed the mother’s vehicle for evidence. We find out from a news conference later that it was because the cadaver dogs found hints of decomposition in it.

Then early in the afternoon, the media starts to report on a mover who helped the mother move that Sunday before. The mover said she and her fiance were paid to move and never once see Taylor, and that the mother Brianna was acting strange.

Then suddenly the search for missing Taylor turned on its head and looked way more like they were looking for a body than a child.  Then Law Enforcement had started searching the home that they just moved out and the place that they were currently living. They had been looking in retention ponds and through dumpsters and trash, and the mother had been at the police station. At a later news conference, we found out it was because the police found out that the cadaver dogs never picked up a scent in the new home, but found evidence of decomposition in the old home.

Just as a note that cadaver dogs can detect decomposition up to thirty years, it depends on the dog and other elements but decomposition doesn’t have to be fresh. Which is why it is not anything more than circumstantial evidence. It is mostly a clue to help Law Enforcement.

The next day at the news conference the Law Enforcement told everything that the mother stopped cooperating with investigators and that if they had evidence than she would be arrested but she was already back at work. That is a big sign because Brianna is an IT1 of the US Navy, something that I know a lot about personally. There were a lot of words about her thrown around like how she was an overachiever that she was something big, how she obviously did so well in the Navy. She was might have been before the Navy, but for someone who was 7 years she is exactly where she is supposed to be as an IT, they rank up VERY easily and she only had 9 awards in 7 years, I had more in 4 years. So, her record in the Navy is less than impressive.

The media learns from Taylor’s family in Alabama that the last time they have seen her was two years ago and that Brianna cut the family in Alabama two years go when she was stationed in Jacksonville. It had also been months since anyone outside of Brianna had seen Taylor. Then the vehicle that Law Enforcement towed for evidence had been check for the GPS which took them to Alabama the Monday after Taylor was reported to be missing and the next day they found her remains.

It took a little over a week for them to be identified, and Law Enforcement still can not determine a cause of death. Considering that it would take roughly 3 days for a dental comparison, it should have taken only a week if not tells me that she had been in the woods for a while. The area where she was found locals said that only other locals know about and this area was where Brianna lived and grew up.

Before Brianna was arrest, the news of Taylor’s possible remains where all over the news, and Law Enforcement was on their way to take her into custody. Which means that Brianna would have seen the news and known where she left her daughter. That is when she was rushed to the hospital because she ODed. So, far because we don’t know a cause of death she has only been charged with two counts of child neglect and giving false information to officers. Her bail is set at over 1 million dollars.

For now, they can’t charge her with the murder of her daughter until they confirm a cause of death, the last thing we want is another Casey Anthony where they overcharged her without the evidence. (Not that she wasn’t guilty, but they simply didn’t have the evidence to prove it, and they took a large gamble and it bit the prosecution in the ass.)

The community in Florida has really railed behind Taylor William, who was five years old at the time. She became one of Florida’s daughters and I think cases like this when a parent is behind it is especially heartbreaking since parents are supposed to protect their children even though we know that isn’t always the case.

There were a lot of little things I noticed about the first week in this case like how a day before Taylor was reported as missing there was a Craiglist ad for childcare that Brianna posted and then later deleted to try and blame a stranger for what she did to her child. There were bags of evidence collected at the old home, and another mover said that it was trashed and old food everywhere. From the beginning, people knew that this was more than just a child missing case. Witness talked about how from her old home that a lot of them didn’t even know she had a child. How she was enrolled in the base daycare until springtime which is the last time she was seen alive outside of Brianna.

I know someone who’s daughter was kidnapped by the non-custodial and she was in the Navy while this happened, she took emergency leave so that she could deal with this, and they were very generous when she needed time off. She was also on shore duty like Brianna, so I know this was an option for her and that if she wanted to find her child than that was an option. Just for information, the person I knew her daughter was found a year later and is back home.

People in Florida and elsewhere are really rallying for justice for Brianna, and there was something about this case and other cases that involve children that make the community really bond together. Especially for me, it involves both Florida and the Navy.

Lonzie Barton who was 21 months at the time was reported missing on July 24, 2015, by Ruben Ebron (Lonna Lauramore Lonzie’s mother), who told police that his car had been stolen. The car was later found without Lonzie. There was an Amber Alert and the search for Lonzie happen immediately.

It wasn’t that day but in the next few days, Lonna and Chris Barton (He was named as Lonzie’s father but he was not) did an interview begging for people to find their son. You would have never guessed that they were not a couple or that Lonna was working a gentlemen’s club. Still, that information doesn’t mean anything. During that time Ebron was charged with child neglect. There were a few pleas for information from them and there was one from Ransom Barefoot Lonzie’s father.

During the search, the remains of two people who had been unrelated to the case had been discovered, and about a month later Lonzie was reported missing the search was scaled back but still going on. Around the same time, Law Enforcement found a surveillance video of Ebron that showed him leaving the car where Law Enforcement found it after Lonzie was reported missing. The search was called off, and the Amber Alert was canceled. It was changed from a missing child to homicide.

Lonna and Chris Barton sat down for an exclusive interview, in which Lonna said “It’s very hard to see other mothers with babies his size, The saying is true you want what you can’t have.” However, three days later, she was arrested and charged with child neglect and lying to officers.

Ebron ended up admitting to the officers that had occurred, claiming that it was accidental that drowned in a bathtub while he and Lonna were having sex in another room then he led them to the body. In which he got 20 years, and Lonna only got 5. Which makes no sense, she should have gotten as much time as he did, she did this to her son and then played a sympathy role to make people feel bad for her. She was way more guilty in my opinion and the justice system really let the ball drop on this case and the victim. Especially when she agreed to testify against Ebron, but claimed she still didn’t know what happened. That was more lies!

There was a lot of injustice in this case, the mother who should have never been called that and shouldn’t be allowed to have children have what she did to Lonzie got a slap on the wrist. Her and Chris’ family is known in my small town, that isn’t a good thing. About a month before Lonzie went missing Lonna got an order of protection from Ebron then turned around and got arrested with him. Then after Lozie was reported as missing, Lonna got a large tattoo on her ribs while her son was missing of Ebron’s name. At the time of Lonzie’s disappearance, Ebron, Lonna, and Chris all had pending drug charges.

Chris’ family is related to Haleigh Cummings and her family, who is a missing girl in Florida widely believed to have been killed. Drugs are a heavy theme in her and Lonzie’s families, and both are known for this. Lonna’s mother who is a really good person has custody of her daughter now. Another sad part of this case was Law Enforcement did confirm officially that Ransom was Lonzie’s father, the one that was never allowed to get to know his son, because of Lonna. He was extremely upset about the whole thing, about the murder, and about how he was never allowed to know his son.

Now I can’t remember if this happened before or after but both Chris and Lonna were arrested for drugs, the whole thing went down at a hotel well known for people who do drugs and make meth at it, but to be honest, that is the same for all three hotels in the town, because the arrest was actually done by my local sheriff’s office. The charges were for the sale of Molly, possession of drug paraphernalia, and the sale and possession of opiates. Chris was sentenced to three years and has been released, Lonna was sentenced to seven years and won’t be released until December 14, 2026. She got more time for drugs than what she did to her son, it’s a shame.

Ransom was arrested for the possession of controlled substances on August 05, 2017 and placed on probation for two years, but in May was arrested for the remainder of his probation because he violated it according to his mother on facebook, who was actually happy about this because he had ODed before.

Haleigh Cummings was a case that I never followed until after the fact. I happened to be in the Navy at the time, and it didn’t reach globally like the Caylee Anthony case did. On February 10, 2009, Haleigh was reported to have been kidnapped from her home. She was five years old. The back door was found to have been propped open with a block, and there were no signs of forced entry found. She has been missing for ten years.

Her parents Ronald Cummings and Crystal Sheffield plea for the return of their daughter, and there have been multiple pleas from them individually, the next time Ronald appears to plea with his girlfriend Misty Croslin who only 17 at the time, while Ronald was 26. Misty was the last known person to see Haleigh alive, and her maternal grandmother questioned Misty’s story and later would Law Enforcement, but the grandmother later apologized for questioning that.

Just over a month after Haleigh went missing Ronald and Misty got married. Then they would reject help finding Haleigh, and Crystal the mother questioned the marriage. Five months later Ronald was charged with burglary and assault of Misty’s brother, and was questioned in leaving a dead rat in his mailbox. I’m not sure about you but all those sound like signs to me. Like Ronald didn’t like that Misty’s brother knew something he didn’t want him to know.

Misty’s account of what happened the night Haleigh went missing was questioned Law Enforcement and was given a polygraph test and failed. Then she and Ronald divorced on October 15, 2009. Somer Thompson’s body was found while looking for Haleigh. Misty and 3 of her brothers were arrested and charged with trafficking of prescription medication on November 05, 2009. Misty had six counts, her brother that Ronald had the issue with three counts, and her other two had one count. Then on Feb 03, 2010 both she and Ronald got charged with trafficking of prescription medication, which brought her charged up to eight and Ronald had five charges.

While in custody Misty is visited by her father who tells her, “Misty, don’t be lying about nothing because all it’s going to do is bury you deeper. … The Haleigh stuff has got to come to an end. It has to, Misty.”

Crystal get custody of her and Ronald’s son, who is Haleigh’s brother.

Law Enforcement seems torn on whether it was just Misty involved, or both Ronald and Misty, but the general belief is that it is a homicide there just is no proof. Misty’s brother accused her of not being home that night when she was supposed to be watching Haleigh. The rumor was she was at a party and that she brought Haleigh with her and there were drugs involved. It is also believed that this is why Misty and Ronald got married for the spousal privilege. Misty moved with Ronald when she was just 14 years old, and before that she was just the baby sitter. My thoughts about this are very dark, I have to wonder about how Ronald groomed her, and if there was sexual abuse.

Misty dropped out of school in the sixth grade and had run away from home. There was a hit by cadaver dogs near the home in a dumpster, the clothes that she was reported missing in was later found, there was a small blood smear found on Haleigh’s bed, and on the block that held open the door that night. Then there was also a rumor that went around that Misty confessed to her friend about murdering Haleigh and thrown into an alligator-infested part of the St. Johns River not far from the trailer where they lived, and according to locals if you dumped a body in that river you would never find it.

Haleigh’s mother not too long after her daughter went missing needed up moving to my small town because the stress of what happened with Haleigh had stressed her out so much that she was having seizures and other health problems. She still was involved in the case but just had to step back some, because making herself sick wouldn’t help her daughter any. She is related to the Barton’s and in a way, both Haleigh and Lonzie are both cousins, and both had something horrible happen to them.

Ronald was sentenced to 15 years in prison and Misty got 25, both were the drug charges that I mentioned earlier. The case is still open.

I think a lot of us know about this case, I mean I heard about it globally when I was in Japan and in the Navy at the time, and while I didn’t follow it closely, I did know a good bit about it. I just wasn’t able to follow it closely until I came back to the states. So I won’t be doing a blow by blow for this one. Caylee was reported missing 15, 2008, but no one seen her for a month before that. She would have been 14 years old this year.

There is so much that the prosecution did wrong with the case, like not getting a cause of death, and having all the evidence they had been circumstantial. Unfortunately there just was no direct evidence. That provided the jury with a lot of reasonable doubt in this case. The world loved this little girl and wanted her to be found. This case touched so many people globally, that everyone felt invested in it. To be honest, I think that a lot of people took it personally, and got offended when Casey was found not guilty.

I understand because you don’t do what she did and be innocent, unfortunately, circumstantial doesn’t mean much and it shouldn’t because you can use it to make someone who is innocent look guilty when they aren’t, so on a civil rights point of view you don’t want circumstantial to weight that much in a case, and it should never be looked as direct evidence. There have been other cases where Law Enforcement used circumstantial evidence to convict innocent people have they twisted it to make it look like something it was not. That is obviously not what I think in this case, but it’s important to understand why the jury had to say not guilty based on the evidence they had.

A lot of people where mad at the jury, when they should have turned that on the prosecution, they are the ones who botched this case and not only did they not get enough evidence, they went to try the case way too fast.

There was no justice for Caylee here and I think we all know it, Casey got away with everything that happened. I still think it is crazy that they couldn’t determine a cause of death in this case, but could in case that are over thirty years old.

Crimes against children are the worst, and honestly hearing about things like this is one of the reasons why I don’t want children, I can’t possibly think every day is this the last time I will see my son/daughter. These are cases and all children that Florida and the county loves and there are so many people who I have seen in all of these cases say I would have taken her/him in and loved them. In a lot of the case there were other parents and family members who also loved and wanted them but someone decided to take that away. These are Florida’s children.

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