I pray for the day that
courts will STOP
children back to the parents who abused them, from loving foster homes.
I agree that not every foster home is a good environment and children
die in foster homes, but when a child is returned to parents who abused
that child and witnesses state that the abuse is still taking place,
Judges should NOT
home to their abusers. I pray for the day that those in "power" over
the lives of innocent children will become LEGALLY
responsible if they IGNORE
the facts and children end
up dead because of their actions.
Just a few months before Vyctorya Sandoval died at the hands of the
parents a Judge returned her to, a two page letter ws sent to the Los
Angeles County Children's Court stating their was extreme concern for
the well being of Vyctorya. Linda Kontis who was the co-founder of a
foster family agency called "Serenity" which held the contract to
provide care and a home for Vyctorya. The letter that Linda sent was
only one of two which the court received and then obviously ignored.
Tori, as she was known by her family and friends, was removed from her
parents care and placed in the foster home of Terry and Kelli Sedgewick.
Tori's parents had been reported to Child Protective Services at least
11 times for alleged domestic violence and sexual abuse of Joseph
Sandoval by Jennifer Dalhover when he was still under age and the
couple were dating. At one point, Jennifer got a restraining
order against Joseph for domestic violence against her.
A friend of the foster family she had been living with, said that the
family had called CPS stating the relatives of Tori had said she was in
bad shape, she was pale and thin and didn't seem to be herself any more
and there were reports that Jennifer told the foster mother that Tori
had begun to pinch herself and pull out her own hair.
The court made the mistake of sending Vyctorya back to live with her
parents even with all of the concerns for her safety. A two year
old Angel became the latest casualty in the idiocy of the court system
when she was returned to the parents who has abused her and within a
few months of returning her to their care, she was dead from
malnutrition, she had bruises all over her body, a fractured rib and
blood tests showed that she had died after being deprived of food and
In March of 2012, Joseph and Jennifer were charged with the murder of
Vyctorya. Joseph Sandoval was 21 years old and Jennifer Dalhover was 36
years old when they were arrested and held on $1 million bail:
"The arrests bring a
general sense of relief for everyone who knew and love Tori. You
it felt at times like they were going to get away with it. It was just
so frustrating to
waiting for this"
Esparza - Family friend
In court, witnesses testified about Vyctorya:
"The cause of death is
blunt chest and abdominal trauma due to
chronic child abuse slash neglect"
Dr Chanikarn Changshri
- Medical Examiner
"She was an amazing eater, she ate everything. It was a joke in
our house that if we could find something that she didn't like to
eat, because she loved everything"
Kelli Sedgewick - Foster Mother
"She would cry and cling to me and not want to go into the visit and she
would be like having her hands on the, it's a glass room. So she would
have her hands up crying because she didn't want to go"
Kelli Sedgewick describing visitations with Tori and her parents
"She looked really skinny"
Destiny Magana, Vyctorya's sister describing what she witnessed
Other witnesses stated that at times, Vyctorya had come to them,
tugging on them requesting food. A former foster mother said that
Jennifer told her that Vyctorya would cry all the time and that she was
evil, that foster mother suggested that Jennifer contact CPS and give
Vyctorya back to them, to which Jennifer was said to reply that she
would never allow the Sedgewick's to have Vyctorya.
In September of 2013, family members, friends and Vyctorya's foster
parents were upset that a plea deal had been struck with the monsters
who killed this precious little girl. Joseph Sandoval plead no contest
to second degree murder and was sentenced to only 15 years to life, in
prison. Jennifer Dalhover plead no contest to child abuse and was
sentenced to only six insulting years in prison:
"We don't believe for
one moment that our sweet girls memory got the justice she
but no amount of punishment for those responsible for her death could
bring her back"
Los Angeles County District Attorney Shiara Davila-Morales said that
the goal had been to convict these two people and go after sentences
that would bring justice for Vyctorya:
"We considered it
equally important to convict the child's mother who failed to
her children from a dangerous environment"
I guess my idea of justice and the LAWS
idea of justice are totally different. I have said it over and over,
but I will say it again, ANYONE
who kills a child while ABUSING
that child should NEVER
out of prison alive. Life in prison without parole should be the
sentence for each and every one of them.
Linda Kontis said that the court commissioner who had been the IDIOT
(she didn't say idiot, I am
though), Marilyn Mackel, who approved sending Vyctorya back to her
parents home was a woman who intimidated those in her courtroom by
dominating them and that even the Lawyers in her court room would speak
very little and softly when they did speak.. Linda said that when one
of Tori's siblings was speaking about the abused, Marilyn seemed to be
distracted and didn't even acknowledge any of the complaints made
against the parents of Vyctorya. Marilyn is reported to be retired now
and has refused to comment on the death, that in my opinion is on her
soul, of Vyctorya.
Vyctorya's grandmother spoke about the sentences saying they were not
nearly long enough: