.

Loralei Sims
June 5, 1986 - June 17, 1986
Find A Grave Memorial


Heather Sims
March 18, 1989 - April 29, 1989 
Find A Grave Memorial
Who could imagine in their wildest dreams that being born as a girl would be punishable in the United States of American, by death? A baby girl came into the world on June 5, 1986 and was given the name Loralei Marie by her parents, Robert and Paula Sims. A short 13 days later, this baby girl would be reported as kidnapped and then found dead.

On June 17, 1986 in Brighton, Illinois, a neighbor heard a knock on her door and answered it to find Paula Sims crying and telling her that a masked gunman had taken her daughter, Loralei. She told of how he had made her lie on the floor for five minutes and he then took the baby and left. The neighbor called the Sheriff and then handed her phone to Paula who called her husband, Robert Sims.

"Call the police, a man just stole my baby. My baby's gone. I have to call Rob".
Paula Sims

Sheriff Yocam arrived at their home after Robert and was immediately told that there had been hang up calls received by the Sim's. They told the Sheriff about a nurse at the hospital who had talked of how cute Loralei was and that should just steal her. This was checked out and nothing became of it. The woman who had shared a room with Paula at the hospital had been notified and told about a conversation she had heard Paula having with Robert, over the phone. Paula was apologizing over and over to Robert for having a girl instead of a boy and she was sorry for letting him down that way.

When asked if while she was laying on the floor she had looked to see what the kidnapper looked like, Paula answered, "no". Several other questions which were asked, did the dog bark, did she hear footsteps outside prior to the man coming into the house or did she hear the man running away, Paula again answered no. During her questioning, it was noted that Paula was making crying noises the entire time, however, she never cried a single tear. Robert Sims requested road blocks and a helicopter to help look for his child. Dogs used in tracking were brought to the scene and were unable to lock onto a scent.

The dogs were brought out again days later, into an area with a lake located at the back of the Sims home. Paula was asked if she would rather wait in the house and she replied:

"No, I want to be here when they fetch her up"

The tracking dog was given the usual command of "find dead" and began to search the area. With a low growl, the dog signaled that something had been found. On Tuesday, June 24, 1986, Loralei Sims remains were found in the woods behind the home of Robert and Paula sims. All that remained of her was her skeleton and a small amount of red hair.

Suspicion of course went straight to Loralei's parents. The Pathologist reported that someone had placed their hand over Loralei's nose and mouth and suffocated her until she was dead. Robert and Paula Sims took lie detector tests and failed. They lied to the press and told them that they had passed. Paula went in front of a grand jury and invoked her 5th amendment right. Without sufficient evidence, Paula and Robert could not be charged. Robert and Paula moved to a new house in madison County leaving the death of Loralei in Jersey county. Around the time of their move, Paula would realize she was pregnant with her second child. 

On February 1, 1998 a baby boy was born to Robert and Paula, they named him Randall in memory of Paula's brother who had been killed in a car accident. To protect his newborn son, Robert put up a chain link fence as well as making some rules about who could and could not hold the baby and when. Everyone had to wash their hands before holding Randy and anyone who was sick couldn't even visit. Paula was no longer allowed to visit her own family because she might bring germs back with her. Robert was the only one allowed to sterilize Randy's bottles since he thought Paula wouldn't do it properly.

Randy was about 2 1/2 years old when Paula realized she was pregnant again, with what would be her third and final child. Paula knew that this was going to upset Robert and she was right. Robert began to find fault in everything she did including doing the dishes, the laundry and how she took care of herself. Robert thought Paula wasn't clean enough as a result of how often he made her wash her hands, they were cracked and bleeding. At one point, Paula told Robert she was unhappy and wanted to leave him, he wasn't worried about it at all, saying:

"Fine, take that thing you are carrying and leave my son with me". 

On March 18, 1989, Paula gave birth to a baby girl, Heather Lee Sims. Only 42 days after her birth, Heather Lee would be reported kidnapped. On April 29 Paula told police that she was taking out the trash and a masked gunman told her to go into the house and knocked her unconscious. Upon waking up, Paula discovered that her daughter was missing. Paula had no injuries was the supposed blow she took to the back of her neck and Police thought that the "crime" scene did not support her claims. Robert insisted, once again, that the police put up road blocks and then said the words that would shock everyone:

"this has happened to us before, at the last place we lived".

Heather's remains were found in a trash can, in a park on May 3, by a man collecting cans. It was found that the bag her remains was found in had come from a roll of trash bags found in the home of the Robert and Paula Sims. Robert and Paula became the prime suspects in the death of their daughter, but, the state wanted to gather more evidence to prove their guilt. The Sim's were informed that an autopsy would be performed the next day.

The autopsy revealed three small cuts on the inside of Heather's top lip. The Coroner said that something had been pressed against Heather's face to smother her to death. The cause of death was listed as homicide. Another finding was that Heather's body had been frozen for a period of time after her death.

Police obtained a search warrant for the home of the Sims and several items were removed, those items included the roll of trash bags in that Heather's remains had been found in. The trash bag had Paula's finger prints on it. On May 10, 1999, heather was buried and on the 12th, Paula was finally charged with concealing a crime and with Heather's murder, with bail set at $100,000. Paula denied all of the charges and didn't change her story from the original one about the masked gunman. 

The state was seeking the death penalty for Paula and an insanity plea was discussed with her. This would contradict her claim of innocence and she didn't want to to use it. Paula claimed she was innocent the entire time. A jury didn't believe Paula's story and after finding her guilty, on On February 2, 1990, sentenced her to life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

In August, Robert visited Paula in the Dwight Correctional Facility and informed her that he was filing for divorce. No charges were brought against Robert since he was not home at the time of either of the deaths of his little girls. Randall was removed from his custody and later it was restored to him. Conditions of the divorce stated that Robert had to bring their son to visit her once a month. At one point, Randall asked Paula why she had killed his sister. When Paula told him she was sorry he said something that led her to believe that Robert had told him to say it:

"That just ain't good enough Paula".

About two years later, while still in prison, Paula finally admitted to killing both of her precious baby girls. She said that she knew Robert was upset about her having given birth to two girls and she drowned them both in the bathtub. When Loralei had died, Paula says she thought Robert would be upset with her so she made up the story about the kidnapper. Loralei was wrapped in a towel and put in the woods near the lake. Paula had told Loralei that she was sorry and that she loved her and laid her down and returned to her house.

Paula said that when it came to Heather she had tried to stop herself from the bad feelings she was having because of the guilt Robert was causing her for having given birth to another girl. Claiming to have killed her the same way she had killed Loralei and at the same time denying she had put her in the freezer.

August 28, 1994, Paula filed a pro se post conviction petition claiming that her attorney,  Donald Groshong, provided ineffective counseling by dismissing the use of the insanity defense. Paula claimed that her attorney was more concerned with the defense of Robert than of herself. Paula claimed she suffered from depression and guilt because Robert had not wanted girl children and blamed her for the births of girls rather than boys. 

Claiming the deaths were the result of postpartum psychosis, she claimed that her lawyer had ignored this and she wanted a new trial to determine if in fact she had been suffering from postpartum psychosis at the time she killed both of her baby girls. She claimed that the disorder had left her unable to understand that her actions were wrong. Dr. Diane Sanford says that indeed Paula was suffering from postpartum illness when she killed Heather.

She said she suffered from major depression and guilt because her husband did not want Heather and blamed her for having the child. After she announced the murders were the result of postpartum psychosis, she accused  Donald Groshong of ignoring the postpartum psychosis insanity defense and requested a new trial to determine if postpartum disorders diminished her capacity to understand the criminality of her conduct. 

Paula was still taking responsibility for her actions and even continues to say that she had killed her babies alone and with Robert knowing she was going to do it. However, Paula said that marital pressure coming from Robert should mean that she was not guilty and she still claimed that her attorney had been on the side of Robert and didn't represent her effectively. Donald Groshong argued that if he had said that Robert's actions caused the death of his baby girls, it would be contradicting Paula's claims of innocence.

On September 7, 1994, Paula's pro se petition was dismissed by the court and it was decided that her attorney had represented her effectively.

Update:

New information about how Paula almost killed Randall one day has come to light: 

"He was crying and I had tried everything I knew to comfort him, but nothing was working. 
Before I knew it I snapped and laid him down in the playpen and yelled at him to be quiet 
and then I threatened him, he quit crying immediately. His eyes got big and he just stared at me. 
I quickly picked him up held him closer me and told him I was so sorry I didn't mean it. I believe 
it was this sudden adrenaline rush and Randy's reaction along with actually hearing me threaten 
him which brought me out of postpartum depression/psychosis. Just enough to save Randy 
from the terrible fate of his sister."



Update: May 12, 2016 - Thank you Sandy for this update

I received an e-mail letting me know that Robert and Randy Simms had both been killed in a car accident. In June of 2015, Robert was 63 years old and Randy was 27 years old when they were forced off the road by a woman named Yolanda McNeeley who struck the back of their Jeep with her Volvo. The Jeep went off the road and went over a bridge where both Robert and Randy were thrown out of the Jeep. Yolanda drove away and crashed her car at the bottom of the exit ramp. Robert and Randy were both pronounced dead at the scene:


"The whole story is sad to me. It's very sad when people die tragically.
It's very disturbing. My heart goes out to Paula. The poor woman
is still in jail and now will grieve for the loss of her only child"
State Senator - Bill Haine

This statement from Senator Bill Haine has me a bit confuses. Her ONLY child? I guess he has forgotten that she had had two girls who she made a choice to kill. Her reasons for killing these two baby girls were all related to keeping her husband happy. My heart does not break for her, I do not feel sympathy for her, she killed two babies, she is exactly where she belongs, in prison and she should NEVER get out.


St. Louis County Medical Examiner, Mary Case, had testified against Paula:

"I don't think the Sims case was one of the biggest challenges. It was
one of the more interesting ones. Certainly it was one that had a lot
of repercussions and had a lot of interest but it wasn't the most challenging,
I believe. As for the deaths of Robert Sims and Randall Sims, it's terribly tragic.
I don't know what else to say other than that"



Randall Troy Sims
February 1, 1998 - June 20, 2015
Find A Grave Memorial

Randy was only two years old when his mother was sentenced to life without parole for the death of his sister Heather and concealing the death of his sister Loralei. At one time in his life, it was said that Randy didn't care if his mother rotted in prison, though more recently, there were those who knew him best who said that he was on the road to forgiving his mother for what she had done.

The case of the two girls dying was world wide news and from the case came two movies and a book. Randy decided he didn't want to move away and he remained where he was, attending school, church and even going to college. When he was about four years old, the youth pastor at Center Grove Presbyterian Church spoke about how it must have been a hard for Randy to grow up as the son of Paula Sims, he said that the gravity of the situation must have been a struggle for the child.

Randy was said to have been an energetic little boy who grew into a secure teen aged boy and then into the man who went to college and became a teacher. Craig Frazier, who was a Pastor of the Church said that Randy was a unique person who knew a lot about tragedy from his own life experience but managed to keep a positive attitude and had a wonderful spirit. Randy had been going to church since about the age of four with a couple named Fred and Betty Signaigo, he was there every Sunday with them and he soon got involved in the  youth group.

Robert Sims was raising Randy alone and Randy was said to become an avid reader and someone who was totally committed to attending church. Kurt Prenzler, who went to church with Randy said that he was intelligent and could easily carry on conversations on any subject, though they both cared a lot for the subject of history. Kurt said that Randy left a very bright mark on this world.

Graduating from Lewis and Clark Community College with an associates degree in history and English, he received his bachelor's degree from Greenville College in history education and he taught English for grades 7 through 12 at Collinsville Christian Academy for two years before his tragic death. Deedra Mager, the school's administrator said that at times she would see Randy in the hallway and when she'd ask how his day was going he would always comment in a positive way such as. "More lovely than deadful", Deedra said that he was always positive and he expected the same of his students. A sign on his classroom door read "The smell of learning beckons you".

Randy was said to have strong faith in his relationship with Jesus Christ and that it was this that helped him to get through the struggles he had in life dealing with his mother and what she had done, he was said to refuse to allow his past to be his legacy. Randy had always supported his his father and believe he had nothing to do with the deaths of his sisters. He was said to have posted on blogs that his father was only guilty of having trusted his mother. In 2006, Randy sent a letter to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board when his mother was being considered for clemency based on the fact that she said she had been suffering from Postpartum Psychosis when her daughters died. Randy stated that he felt Paula was a danger to his father and to himself and the prayed she would stay in jail for the rest of her life. Randy had never even visited his mother in jail.

When a friend asked if he was married, Randy said not, but he was thinking that he would like to get engaged, that never happened. Randy and his father were on their way to Mississippi with a group of people from their church when the accident that took their lives happened.

Those who knew him said that he had faith that Jesus would heal his heart and though they don't know if he would have ever forgiven his mother, they said that a bitter person would be clearly evident and Randy never showed any form of bitterness and they speculate that if he had not forgiven her before his death, that he was possibly on the right path since forgiveness is something that Christian's believe in and strive for.

Officeer Colendula Green of the Jasckson Police Department stated that Yolanda McNeeley, who was 47 years old at the time, slammed into the Jeep with Robert and Randy inside and then drove away. When found, she was charged with two counts of aggravated DUI and felony fleeing. Sadly, I don't see that she will face any charges for their deaths.


 
OBITUARY:

Randy Sims

Randy Sims, 27, of Edwardsvilled, died Satury, June 20, 2015. Memorial 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 29, 2015, at Center Grove Presbyterian Church, Edwardsville. Irwin Chapel, Glen Carbon.

Funeral Home:

Irwin Chapel PC

591 Glenn Crossing Rd

Glen Carbon, IL 62034

(618) 288-9500

Published in Belleville News-Democrrat on June 23, 2015


OBITUARY:

Randy Troy Sims, age 27, of Holiday Shores, IL, passed away on Saturday, June 20, 2015, along with his father in Jackson, MS. Randy was born on February 1, 1988 in Alton, IL, a son to Robert and Vikki (Thomas) Sims.

Randy was a member of Center Grove Presbyterian Church, Edwardsville, IL. He graduated from Greenville College and was a teacher at Collinsville Christian Academy and was an avid book collector. Randy enjoyed debating, trivia nights and learning about history. He also enjoyed photography, traveling, playing darts, playing pool and bowling. Randy loved life, he loved to laugh, but most of all he loved his family and friends.

Randy was preceded in death by his two sisters, Loralei Marie Sims and Heather Lee Sims.

He is survived by his loving mother, Vikki Sims of Holiday Shores, IL; dear girlfriend, Jessica Platt of Hazelwood, MO; extended family and many dear friends.

In celebration of his life, memorial services will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 29, 2015 at Center Grove Presbyterian Church, 6279 Center Grove Road, Edwardsville, IL, with Pastor Craig Frazier officiating. Interment will be in Woodland Hill Cemetery, East Alton, IL at a later date.

Back to Loralei & Heather's page
Read Part Of Paula's Petition To The Court
Read Posts Made By Randy Sims

Deaths occurred in the state of Illinois

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