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Samantha R. Richie
September 4, 1990 - July 22, 1995
Find A Grave Memorial

Therressa Jolynn Richie reported her daughter missing and once again, it was a case of a mother lying to cover up what had really happened. What DID happen, was that Samantha walked in on her mother having sex with a neighbor, rather than ask her daughter to leave and explain later, Therressa beat her daughter to death with a cast that was on her arm, while Ernest Vernell Brooks, who was 43 at the time, stood there and watched, rather than help the defenseless little Angel. Therressa took her daughters body and dumped it in a water pit and called to report her missing.

Therressa told police that she had put her to bed the night before and then she had gone to sleep at 2:30 a.m., herself. After waking up at 10:00 a.m. the next morning, Therressa found her daughter was gone and people believed she crawled out of an open window. Police, friends and neighbors spent five days searching for Samantha and her Aunt Jeanne Kauffman handed out leaflets with her picture and information on them. Sadly, Samantha was found in six feet of water in an abandoned foundry. It was reported that Samantha died of head injuries.

At a neighbors home, Therressa watched a news broadcast of her daughter being pulled from the pit. Therressa was
reported to say "My baby", then she took the cast off of her arm and asked the neighbor where the trash was.

Reports state that Therressa had a history of neglecting her daughter and her three stepsons. Three years before she died, Children's Services Board members did an investigation and decided that even though at one point, at 1:30 a.m., Samantha had shown up at a neighbors home wanting to play with the children there, there was no reason to investigate and nothing was ever done and there were no further investigations done.

In the background of all of this is Samantha's father, who, while Therressa was off drinking with a friend, was out looking for his missing daughter. Denton Ritchie didn't want to be in on all the craziness that was going on, he only wanted to find his daughter. Denton was not eating or sleeping, only worrying about his daughter and wanting her to come home safe. Denton worked for the city, driving a garbage truck and he faithfully made his child support payments of $313. a month. Denton had married Therressa in 1990, a Sergeant in the Army Reserve, he was headed for the Persian Gulf in a month. When he came back, he found that Therressa had been using Cocaine, filed for divorce and filed for custody of Samantha on May 10, 1995. Therressa had taken Samantha and moved to Kentucky for two years. A year before Samantha's death, Therressa had been in trouble with the law for assault and it was said that Samantha lived with her mother in a filthy home. In July of 1995, Therressa was awarded custody of Samantha and only seven days later, Samantha was dead.

Denton was in court every day of the trial, only leaving during the time they showed the autopsy pictures. Samantha didn't cry a single tear the entire time and she even had the nerve to smile at Denton who had put his head in his hands and cried.

In September of 1995, Therressa, who was 24 at the time, had the nerve to plead innocent to charges of murdering Samantha. Ernest at least had the guts to plead guilty to charges of gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice, what a stand up guy, huh? Ernest was release from prison in January of 1998 and was later convicted of raping two girls, sent to prison and will not be eligible for parole until 2025.

Therressa was convicted in 1996 on charges of murder and sentenced to 22 years to life. At her first parole hearing in 2010, Therressa was denied parole for ten years. The parole board had received a parole petition with 1, 594 signatures as well as 26 letters from people who were opposed to her getting out on parole. Therressa will not be eligible for parole again until 2020.



Death occurred in the state of Ohio

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