After many months of being told they would do a story we are now being ignored by the paper, It seems letters to the editor didn't or haven't worked. So now a letter to the owner of the paper, Gannett Company Inc. I think I may also post this to Ireport.com as a comment...
Although they have been digging around, On July 1, 7, 8, 14 on her birthday they were on for over 13 hours.... now why again won't they call me or return an e mail?
Here's my mother's letter;
Dear Sir /Madam,
This is very lengthy but my hope is that you or someone will take the time to read it through to the end before making a rash decision to delete it or forget it.
For over two years my daughter and I have tried very unsuccessfully to have the Alexandria Town Talk do a story. We have received emails and phone calls telling us a story will be done, then nothing happens. Emails are deleted without being read (we have the notifications from the computer). I personally have written numerous time to all the top executives at "The Town Talk" and requested a simple acknowledgement of our correspondence and receive nothing in response from anyone. Strangely enough the "Town Talk staff" has spent numerous hours on various days visiting the web-sites which relate to the story we have requested they profile. Just recently they accessed the site for 13 hrs in one day. We can verify this.
Why isn't our story being heard and why isn't the Town Talk" responding??
POLITICS, AND REPERCUSSIONS THAT WILL RESULT FROM OPENLY REVEALING THE MISHANDLING OF A INVESTIGATION INTO THE DEATH OF A YOUNG GIRL AND COVER UP TO PROTECT A BROTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. THE CASE BEING HANDED UPSTREAM AFTER EACH LOWER LEVEL OF AUTHORITY FAILED TO TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTIONS ON THE MISHANDLING OF THE LOWER LEVEL AND SUBSEQUENTLY EACH LEVEL RECLUSING THEMSELVES. THE ULTIMATE RESULTS WERE TO CRY "LACK OF EVIDENCE" AS A EXCUSE AND BURY THE CASE IN THE HOPES WE WOULD DISAPPEAR AND GO AWAY.
We have strongly supported our claims that the above is truth, we have offered piles of evidence, emails, photos, statements, police reports, doctors statements, letters from family and friends and yet the "Alexandria Town Talk" prefers to sit quietly and ignore us.
Background:September 18, 2005, A young girls life is unexpectantly ended. Heather Renee Skarina (age 22) was taken from her apartment in Vicksburg MS by her estranged natural father Michael David Skarina. He had found out she had retained an attorney to proceed with collection of over $70K in back child support. Michael Skarina had spent 21 years avoiding payment of his child support. Heather both feared and hated him. She referred to him as "my sperm donor". Michael Skarina has/had a history of physical, mental, and emotional abuse towards others. At the age of 18 and drunk he stole a hauling truck, and jack-knifed it across two lanes of traffic. A elderly man was killed and his passenger seriously injured "no charges were filed. He beat his wife (my daughter) hospitalizing her several times (once rupturing her stomach when kicking her) the military choose to send him for Phyc evaluations, then not proceed with further actions. He plead depression and left the military when a garnishment was placed on his income for child support. Then he re-applied to the military via the Army N/G reserves. When my daughter fled home (at our expense and urging) Michael. Skarina came after her and stole tiny infant Heather Renee. After several trips to Colorado to court and a Judge threatening to throw Michael Skarina in jail Heather was returned to her mother. This then led to a lifetime of further mental and emotional abuse for our entire family. The ultimate abuse was taking Heather Renee's life.
On the nights of September 16/17 there were three (3) police reports of domestic violence which evolved Heather Renee and Michael Skarina. On September 18, SUPPOSEDLY, Michaels son Christopher age (10) found his half sister laying on the floor in a pool of blood and covered her with a blanket (he thought she was sleeping), how ludicrous is that? He stated he had looked in on her (3)times and she had not moved. The first officer to arrive was a personal friend and co-worker of Michael Skarina. It was not revealed to us that Michael Skarina was a "Rapides Parish deputy Sheriff until we confronted the authorities. The responding officer was also the man involved in a auto accident which Heather Renee's mother was a passenger and was seriously injured when he was 17 years old. Our insurance company sued his family and he has never forgiven us or forgotten this issue. This also was not revealed to us until I confronted the officer myself.
The case was handled over from the Ball Police Dept. to the Rapides Parish Sheriff's office. We were told Heather Renee was being taken to the coroners office in Lafayette where they had a forensic pathologist who would perform a through autopsy. Remember Katrina had reeked havoc, the coroners office in New Orleans was shut down, Lafayette was handling everything for the state. We were told the coroners office would not and could not issue a death certificate while a investigation into the case was being conducted. Well, a death certificate was issued, with time of death being noted as "found" and cause being noted "suicide". That's because Michael Skarina told the officers "she was despondent and spoke of taking her life". Why if she had only been dead a few hours could not a forensic pathologist take a near approximate time of death? Why were puncture wounds found on her arm not thoroughly tested and investigated? Heather never did drugs, had a horrible fear of needles and doctors letters submitted support this. Why would the authorities completely ignore three letters from private physicians of Heathers who stated in writing "she as not suicidal nor homicidal and would never consider taking her own life"? I asked for received and emailed these letters to the authorities myself. Not once did anyone in law enforcement in LA ever contact anyone to verify the statements made by Michael Skarina? "He was one of their own" that's why.
Oh, I missed a "big fact". Remember I stated the Rapides Sheriff office told us (in a email) the death certificate could not be issued while the case was "open", and the coroners office had to receive notice from the sheriffs office "the case was closed"? Well the corners office as I stated did issue the death certificate and we complained bitterly,loudly and adamantly to every level of authority. Well lo and behold, after numerous calls and investigation on my part, I discovered the "coroners office reports to the Rapides Sheriffs office and follows their directions for issuing a death certificate. How about that for lies and a strong indication something is not right with this.
Why would a officer who responded twice to two of the three incidents the night before her death, fail to take her somewhere safe when she requested him too? Why are we being told no video footage is available for any of the incidents. There is video footage of this same officer stopping and releasing a known escaped convict which made headlines across many states, (we have that link as well).
All the drugs found in Heather belonged to Michael Skarina none to Heather. If she was so despondent why were the drugs not secure? Why did Michael Skarina fail to check on her when he stated she had been in her room for over 28 hours without coming out? Why were there no drinking glasses nor drugs found in the room where she was? They were all in Michael Skarina's living room and his possession. Why would a 22 year old female leave home for a "visit" without her car, no clothes, no makeup, no money, fail to notify any immediate family, leave her job, and go to another state with a man she feared and hated?
After numerous complains about all the lies, inconsistencies, blotched investigations, Rapides Parish Sheriffs office recluse themselves and handed the case over to the District Attorneys office. We were then told to write letters to the grand jury requesting a indictment. We were continuingly receiving emails encouraging us to remain positive and authorities would complete their investigation and we would get a Grand Jury to review the evidence and get a hearing.
Well none of this happened. The case was then given to the Attorney Generals office. I personally drove to LA for a meeting and my daughter was telephone conference in. To our utter astonishment we were informed " there is a lack of evidence so we will be closing the case". Investigative reports were not done by anyone, there were no notes, memo's reports, absolutely nothing but words given to us to support their decision. What happen??? They led us to believe they were reinvestigating the lack of professional investigation and actions made by the lower levels of authority and the inconsistencies of each office to follow up a verify evidence submitted. When in fact what they did was just buy time and keep us quite while we held on to a hope of something that would never take place. The case had been so mishandled by each level that the next higher level had no option but to hand it upstream in the hope that somewhere along the line of chain of command the case would simply disappear and we would go away.
This is not going to happen as long as either myself or my daughter is alive. Heather is not here to tell us exactly what happen, we may never know exactly what happen. But!! We must be her voice and get someone to look at the chain of events, examine the evidence, hear the testimony and investigate the facts so the "truth is revealed". This young girl did not take her own life and authorities in LA know it as well as we do. Their failure to support this fact is based on their embarrassment of each levels unprofessional handling the case.
Covering up their errors is the only option they feel they had available to them. Cover-ups regarding the fact Michael Skarina was one of their own, his employment in the Camp for abused and troubled youths (how scary is that?), and the mishandling of the case by each level is sure is create a massive windfall of kayos and havoc that the newspaper is skeptical and leery of touching this story. Why would the authorities not question the word of a man (Michael Skarina) on the amount of drugs found in his possession for depression and anxcitity who was overseeing troubled abused youth? Who is watching the people who are watching our children?
Is not the purpose of a well know newspaper to report the news no matter the consequences of the parties involved? Is that not the purpose of Gannett Company Inc.? Why would " The Town Talk" not even acknowledge our repeated emails for someone to contact us. Let us show them our emails from these authorities which support lies told us, inconsistencies in statements-facts-issues, cover up of knowledge by law enforcement that this man was "one of their own", the three incidents of domestic violence in one night, finally the report of her death and not find this "News worthy"?
I am requesting, no begging you, "Please intercede" and request "The Town Talk" to do the right thing. One thing is for certain, we are not going to stop pleading for someone to listen to us. We can prove our allegations. We can support all our statements above and more. Maybe if we lived in LA instead of out of state our voices would be listened too. But why should geographies matter? The truth is what is important and should be heard. Please help us.
Here is our contact information:
Carol Goldman (maternal grandmother-Heather Renee Skarina)email@example.com
Leyona Goldman (natural mother of Heather Renee Skarina)firstname.lastname@example.org
Please acknowledge receipt of this correspondence. It is a simple request. We need your help. If it was your loved one we would help you if it were in our power to do so. Yes we are grieve stricken and will remain so until the truth is revealed, but we also are seeking justice for Heather.
Sincerely, Carol Goldman