Born to a mother who was
addicted to and sold drugs, it seems that Conrad and Ricky Morales
didn't stand a chance in life, right from the beginning. These two
handsome young men along with their siblings, spent their life going in
and out of the protective custody of Child Protective Services due to
physical abuse and neglect. The life of these children was filled with
SWAT team and CPS visits due to the drug deals and violence in the home.
Rosa Sariana was at one point arrested, convicted and sent to prison
while the father of the boys had been deported.. Conrad was 13 years
old and he was sent to live with Rosa's brother Raul who ws a convicted
felon himself who was living with his wife Cathy. Ricky was ten years
old and send to live with his grandmother and ended up telling a
teacher that his life was not worth living. Ricky would right "die
Ricky, die" on his arms and eventually the school was afraid he would
take his own life so they called CPS who had Ricky admitted to a
Psychiatric facility under the supervision of Social Worker Elia
Rosa was out of prison a short time later, however, she was not able to
care for her sons and she was allegedly told by the Social Worker:
"Conrad seems to be
doing fine in Washington, so why don't you send Ricky
Washington too. You've got one week to send him to Washington or I'm
back to court and your kids are going back into foster care"
Reports said that in the beginning, Raul was happy to have the boys in
his home, he told people the boys were in school and both were getting
along great, making friends, playing sports and getting great grades.
It didn't take long, just a few months later, for people to start
noticing that the home wasn't all Raul had claimed it to be. Neighbors,
Police and a sister of the boys aid that the boys were being abused in
the home physically as well as sexually and Ricky had never been put in
school even though Conrad attended every day. Some of the other teens
in the school noticed that Conrad was wearing makeup to cover up
bruises he had received from his Uncle and Aunt. Conrad was starting to
complain to people that Raul was hurting him and when Police notified
CPS, an investigation was opened, but quickly closed when they found
that the allegations were unfounded.
Rosa was ready to have her children back with her in California. Raul
made excuses, he couldn't afford plane tickets or other things. In
October of 2006, Maria was really pressuring Raul who then told her
that Conrad had run away from their home because he had been acting out
and causing problems at home and in school. Raul and Kathy said they
woke up one day and he was gone, they said he left with a gay man who
was his lover. Kathy was said to be so upset about Conrad that she and
her two biological children were going t live with her sister in
another town. Raul said he would stay behind because he didn't want to
leave without Conrad. A different story was told to CPS, they were told
that Conrad had been sent to live with family in another state, CPS did
nothing further to find out where Conrad was, the case was closed again.
An Aunt of the boys, Berta Cervallos was given an address so that she
could visit with her nephews on Christmas Eve that year, she soon
discovered that the address was a fake. Ricky had called her home and
said he wanted to live with her. Plans were made for Ricky to go,
however, on December 25, 2005, Ricky was dying while locked inside of a
closet while Raul and Kathy sat down to a nice Christmas dinner with
other family members and some friends. In fact, it was reported that
Conrad and Ricky suffered horrible abuse at the hands of their Uncle
and Aunt practically from the moment they arrived.
The day that Ricky died, he had been kicked over and over for vomiting
up food that had been made by Kathy. Ricky was made to clean bathroom
in the home, after he had been kicked, as punishment for not eating
dinner. Ricky was not cleaning fast enough for Raul who found it okay
to continue to kick him causing him to vomit even more before dragging
him into a closet and continuing to kick him. Ricky tried to get away
and Raul stomped on him, closed the door and left the room to go eat.
Kathy went to check on Ricky a few hours later and he was dead so she
called the Police who pronounced him dead at the scene. The next day,
Raul and Kathy were questioned and Raul admitted that he had
disciplined Ricky but had not meant to hurt him. Raul and Kathy were
arrested after the questioning ended.
Someone notified the Police that another child in the home appeared to
be missing. Police went to the home and started a search that turned up
a trash can, covered in plastic and duct tape and then encases in
concrete, it was kept on the carport. Raul readily admitted that Conrad
had died after being discipline in October of 2005. Family members had
been asking and he admitted that he lied about where Conrad was. Raul
and Kathy were already making plans to kill Ricky who had been witness
to the killing of Conrad.
An autopsy done on Ricky showed that he had been severely beaten, with
old and new fractures, contusions and cigarette burns all over his
body. Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Mark Fajardo found multiple traumatic
"Scars on Ricky's body
were consistent with being whipped with an electrical cord
similar instrument. Ricky's scrotum was damaged with a penetrating
scrotal sac was severely damaged. There were multiple scars to Ricky's
centered on the back of his head. he had severe infection on the back
Finally, there were multiple circular injuries consistent with
cigarette burns located
Ricky's body there were determined to be at least several weeks, if not
Ricky had reportedly been treated like a slave by Cathy who forced him
to clean up after the family and witnesses said that they had seen the
abuse that Raul and Kathy had given Ricky who showed signs of being
very thin and malnourished. An autopsy report was done on Conrad, but
results were not released.
Raul and Cathy were arrested and charged with first degree murder and
child endangerment with special circumstances of inflicting torture.
Cathy of course said that she was a battered wife and that she wasn't
aware that either of the boys had been being abused. Raul said that he
did beat the boys but he never meant to hurt them and their deaths had
been accidents. I guess he didn't learn from the FIRST
beating death that beating a
child could cause them to die.
Raul Ricardo Sariana who was 42 at the time and Cathy Lynn Sariana who
was 32 at the time, were both convicted on March 26, 2009, of first
degree murder and inflicting torture and great bodily injury on a
child, the jury recommended they both get the death penalty for what
they did. A sentencing hearing was scheduled by Superior Court Judge
Paul Zellerbauch for June 12:
"I'm very happy with
the verdict. I've been waiting for this day for three years"
"We were chosen to do a
job and we did it. I haven't really analyzed the death
so I don't know whether I'm for or against it. But it's part of our
system and we played by the rules in choosing it"
Foreman - Brad Wrightstone
District Attorney John Aki said that Cathy had been active in the abuse
that took place and that she had been the one to tell people that
Conrad had left with a gay man:
"We all felt she was
the mastermind. She said in her police interrogation video that
husband had the mind of a 15 year old. That says a lot. She was part of
every bit of control to stop the abuse, but didn't"
Dimuccio - Juror
Rosa and another family member handed jurors a picture of the two boys
together with a handwritten noted thanking them for giving justice for
them and saying that they could now rest in peace.
On June 26, 2009, Cathy was sentenced to death and on July 2, 2009,
Raul was sentenced to death.