Ariana A. Swinson
September 19, 1997 - January 31, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial

Ed Swinson and Linda Paling claimed they heard noises from a bedroom in their home where three children were playing. Ed went into the room and saw that one of the children was crying so he stood her up, he said she put her hands up, screamed and then collapsed and when she fell, she hit her head on the floor. Ed ran to a neighbors home to call for help. Linda, who was about eight months pregnant at the time told Police that she was in the bathroom when she heard Ed ask: "What's going on" and then he ran to get help. Linda claims that she did her best to save this child, being a Nurses Aid, but she was unable to revive her.

Sgt.. Richard DeShon took statements and when speaking to one of the children was told that they had been playing choo-choo train and he had jerked Ariana back very hard and she hit her head on the floor which was concrete covered by carpet. Richard said that the statements he heard were not consistent and it seemed to him that the child had been coached on what to say.

Ariana had been abused so badly that she had lost over half of her blood on the day she died and her parents waited too long to call Police for help because they wanted to make sure the other children in the home would tell the story the way they wanted it to be told. Ariana died after she had been violently thrown to the floor because she wasn't eating the way they wanted her to, she immediately went limp and became unresponsive. In an attempt to revive her, these monsters felt it would be a good idea to pour boiling water in her mouth, Ariana didn't wake up, she ended up drowning instead.

No explanation was made as for how Ariana's feet had been scalded, she had puncture wounds on her head, she was dehydrated and only weighed 26 pounds at the age of just a little over two years old:

"You could pretty much see the entire skeleton structure, which I rarely
have seen in a child of that age"
ER Doctor - Geoffrey Mills

Under her mattress, Police found a bloody t shirt and the cause of her death was listed as repetitive abuse with head and brain injury and drowning. Linda would later say that the injuries on Ariana were caused by the other children in the home. Now where have we heard THAT before? Linda did say that at times she had picked her daughter up a bit roughly and that at times, she had hit her adding that a few days before she had accidentally hit Ariana on the cheek, causing a bruise, when she meant to hit her in the mouth for using bad language. Ed was questioned and then he said:

"Well, take me in"

Child Protection Services had been involved with the family in the past and it was only a few months before that CPS had said that the family had made progress in becoming better parents to their children, though they felt that the home wasn't big enough, with only two bedrooms, for the number of people living there. Ariana had been removed from the home for over a year and was sent to live with Linda's sister and her sister's husband. Barney and Valerie McDaniel had tried every thing in order to keep Ariana but in the end, they lost their battle and Ariana was sent back home to live with Ed and Linda. It was said that there was an argument with a Case Worker and that after that, Ariana was sent home even though other family members came forward to protest.

In September of 2000, Edward and Linda Swinson each plead guilty to first degree murder and first degree child abuse for what they did to Ariana. Assistant Prosecutor Jean Sturtridge was asking for the couple to be sentenced to long prison sentences and in court the truth came out.

In January of 2005, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm signed a new law that was set up to improve investigations and prevent future deaths of the children the state of Michigan was supposed to be protecting. State Representative Lauren Hager sponsored what was to be called "Ariana's Law":

"I salute Representative Hager for his lifelong commitment to children and their families.
He and his wife, Carol, have been helping troubled children for many years, professionally
as educators and personally as an extension of their faith. The passage of this law is an
affirmation of their many efforts"

The new law would give the FIA and Ombudsman access to information about the deaths of children and still allow for confidentially to be intact:

"The safety of children is always our first priority and that is why the Family Independence
Agency supports Ariana's Law. We rely on the Office Of Children's Ombudsman to
provide us with an outside, objective opinion of any opportunities we have to improve
our Child Protective Services process and this is consistent with that process"
FIA Director - Marianne Udow

"It provides greater authority and more independence to the Ombudsman as
well as access to agency files"
Lynne Martinez - Children's Ombudsman

With the new law in place, Ombudsman would now have the following:

Access to each department review team study in which a child's death could have resulted from abuse or neglect

Access to the FIA's computer network, records and reports including medical and mental health records that are necessary to carry out his or her powers and duties.

Authorization for five years to request a subpoena for records and reports and petition the court to enforce the subpoena.

A requirement that personnel receive training in handling child abuse or neglect complaints that involve a history of domestic violence.

Expanded power to independently take legal action on behalf of a mal-treated child.

It is no secret how I feel about laws named after children who have been abused to death. Making new laws and giving more power only goes as far as it can go when people FAIL to do their job. New laws are NOT the answer, following the laws that are already in place IS the answer and making those who fail to follow those laws, such as a Case Worker who doesn't like to be challenged and puts a child where she doesn't belong, pay for what they do.

Edward Swinson was 39 years old and Linda Sue Paling was 39 years old when they were convicted of second degree murder in the death of Ariana and they were given a sentence of 30 to 60 years.

Below is a message I found on stories about abused children:

Dec 12, 2006

Ariana Swinson was my cousin and she did not deserve to be ignored! The children were taken away from their parents but months after they wer given back for the last time, Ariana was killed. This should have never happend and I am discusted with DHS!

Thank you Cat your love and caring for the children had been constant.
This page was created on January 14, 2015

Death occurred in the state of Michigan

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