Adriana Payne                  Tyler Payne 
October 18, 2002 - 2007     November 2001 -2007 
Jamie Hallam was given sole custody of her children. Her ex-husband had disappeared and he wasn't visiting the children at all. One day, he showed up and seemed to be in better shape than the last time she had seen him. Jamie allowed him to visit with their children, Tyler and Ariana. Jamie, convinced he had turned his life around, allowed him to have the children for a weekend visit and then allowed him to take them to a birthday party. That would be the last time she would see her children, alive.

Jamie would try to get her children back with the help of the Tucson Police. Taking the court order that gave her sole custody, she asked the police to go with her to her ex-husbands apartment to bring her children home. After speaking with Christopher Payne, who was 29 at the time, the police officer contacted the state and was told to leave the children where they were. This would turn out to be a big mistake on the part of CPS who never visited the children to check on them.

Child Protective Services claims what while they had reports that the children had been abused by someone else, they had no complaints about Christopher Payne having abused them and they stayed in contact with him regarding those claims:

"CPS did not place the children with Mr. Payne. The children were placed with Mr. Payne by
another individual family member, and our investigation revealed no information that the 
children were at risk of harm with him." 

After their divorce in March of 2002, Jamie and the children lived  with her stepfather, Richard Barcalow on and off for about year. He spoke of how he'd gone to the home of Christopher and Jamie at all hours to pick her and the children up because Christopher was being violent. On June 16, 2003, papers were filed by Jamie requesting that
Christopher not be allowed to see the children because of his violent temper as well as drug and alcohol abuse. Richard Barcalow said that he had never seen Christopher abuse the children. At that time, she also had her named changed back to Hallam. The court found that Jamie was a fit mother, gave her sole custody and ordered Christopher to pay child support of $446. a month.

On February 22, 2006, Christopher Payne filed for a modification of child custody stating that Jamie was high on drugs and not taking care of the children. Christopher claimed that CPS had told him to file the claim. Richard Barcalow denied that Jamie was doing drugs or that she was ever intoxicated around the children:

"She was wonderful with the children. She would sit on the floor and read with them." 


 

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On February 18, 2007 police were called by the manager of a storage unit claiming there was a foul odor coming from one of their sheds.

The man who had been paying for the shed had not paid rent for quite some time and the shed had been double locked allowing only employs to have access to the shed. 

When the shed was opened, the officers found a plastic storage tub with the remains of what looked to be a child about the age of two though she was really four. The child would later be identified as Ariana Payne. The police would also

learn that she had a brother, though his body was not found in the shed. In fact, his body would never be found at all. Police tried to find the body of Tyler Payne and were not successful in doing so.

Police made contact with Christopher Payne who was the renter of the shed. Christopher was arrested and charged with first degree murder, child abuse and abandoning or concealing body parts. He was held on
$1.5 million dollar bail.

Tyler and Ariana Payne suffered abuse at the hands of their father and his live in girlfriend. Reina Gonzales, who was 23 at the time, gave details about some of the abuse the children suffered before they died. Reina claimed that she was also a victim of the abuse which Christopher had been giving. Reina testified that Tyler and Adriana were locked in a closet with no food or water. After Adriana died, her body was placed in a storage container and Tyler was forced to stay in the closet with her decomposing body. Tyler would eventually die as well. Reina said that instead of helping the children, she started using drugs to go numb and not have to deal with what was going on.

.
Richard Barcalow, Tyler's grandfather made a plea to Christopher to tell authorities where Tyler's body was. He also made a hopeful assumption that Christopher had sold Tyler:

"I hope he did sell him. At least he'd be alive. It just hurts so much to have them killed or missing. 
You don't know what happened.

Jorge Franco Jr, the attorney for Jamie Hallam filed a case against the state in March of 2008:

“The liability for the state of Arizona in this case stems from the obvious negligence of the CPS caseworker and supervisor that was in charge of Jamie Hallam’s case in March of 2006.  They 
made inconsistent decisions eight days apart and effectively violated a judges custody order”

Jamie's lawsuit says that she suffered psychological and emotional damage as well as shock and grief due to the neglect of the state to protect her children. In the suit Hallam states loss of companionship of children, past and present medical expenses for counseling services she has and will receive and incidental damages that are the direct result of the loss of her children. No dollar amount was given, Jamie asked on for:

 “A judgment in an amount that will compensate plaintiff Jamie Hallam fairly and fully for the wrongful 
deaths of Ariana and Tyler Payne.”

Jamie was eventually awarded one million dollars for her case against CPS. There was a lawsuit still pending against the Tucson Police Department. In October of 2010, Judge Carmine Corneilio dismissed the case against the Arizona Police Department saying that there was no evidence to say that the children were going to die if they were left with their father.

Christopher Payne was set to go on trial in February of 2009.

Reina Gonzales plead guilty to two counts of second degree murder which was part of her plea bargain to testify against Christopher. The plea bargain guarantees that she will go free someday. It is expected that some time after the trial of Christopher Payne, she will be given a sentence of two 22 year sentences, to run concurrently.

Reina was sentenced to the expected 22 years in prison and she testified against Christopher.


UPDATE:

In March of 2009, a jury found Christopher Payne guilty of first degree murder, child abuse and concealment of a dead body. In April of 2009, a jury decided that Christopher deserved to die for what he did to his children and he was sent to death row n Florence, Arizona. Of course the case would go to appeal, however, in August of 2013, the Arizona Supreme Court upheld the convictions as well as the sentence of death.

Death Occurred in the state of Arizona

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