- September 25, 1982
A Grave Memorial
Sunshine Assaid was proudly name by
her father to spell out USA. Ursula lived only five short years before
her mother stood by and watched as her boyfriend tortured and beat
until she died. The torture took place over several days and her own
did NOTHING to stop the man from hurting her.
as Donald McDougal forced her daughter to go a week without water, food
or sleep. Ursula was forced to sit outside and not eat, drink or use
bathroom. If she had an accident, she was beaten and forced to walk
the house with her soiled clothing on her head.
was fed sandwiches
made of two pieces of bread with soap in the middle. She would be
to march around the the house and recite the alphabet over and over. If
she missed a letter or hesitated in any way, she would be beaten again.
At the end of the week long torture, Ursula would be beaten to death.
she died, her
little body was stuffed into a duffle bag along with some weights and
into a drainage pond. Neighbors wondered where the child was and when
asked, they were told that she was with her father. People had no
not to believe that. Eventually, the body was discovered and the
truth was revealed.
later talk about how he had been abused by his father who used to drive
him around in the car all day and not allow him to use the bathroom.
arrested and charged with second degree murder. Susan Assaid was
and charged with manslaughter. Each of them was convicted and Donald
sentenced to only 34 years in prison and Susan was sentenced to 15
of which she would only serve five years and would then live in
was introduced that would specify that child abuse resulting in death,
would be punishable by death. In 1992, the States Attorney, Mr.
became aware that Donald was about to be released due to prison
Mr. Wolfinger and some residents of the community campaigned to and
successful in stopping him from
using sentence reducing credits to get out. The rule was changed by the
Department of Corrections and affected about 6,000 prisoners:
was the poster boy"
said of the effort
would come around, through parole hearings, that Donald could be
from prison the town was outraged by the fact that he could be set
On a radio show called "The Russ & Bo Show", Russ Rollins, who
that show is usually about beer and women, changed it up and talked
the death of Ursula. It had been 14 years since she was murdered by
and for several hours the show talked about it.
and speaking about the torture Ursula had suffered through at the hands
of Donald, Russ decided to have a moment of silence for the little girl
at 8:50, the time of her death:
a radio program is strong"
had been placed
in protective custody at the Avon Park Correctional Institution after
was reported that someone had called the radio show and offered $1,000.
to anyone who would kill him. The radio station as well as hosts of the
show insisted there was never any such offer. Donald was released from
protective custody after five days, at his own insistence.
Earl Barr was
listening to the program that night, he was doing 114 years for assault
and robbery. On October 1, several days after the show aired, Arba was
in the prison yard with over 200 other inmates. After dinner, Arba took
the steel post which was usually used in games of horseshoes and beat
McDougal to death with it.
later, a book
would be written about the case. "Death From Child Abuse . . . and No
Heard'' was written by Eve Krupinski and Dana Weikel. A couple of years
later after a woman named Valerie Baumgart read the book, her concern
the child caused her to do some checking and she found that Ursula's
had never been claimed by anyone and they had gone unburied. Now a
Deputy, Valerie started a campaign to get Ursula buried in the local
abandoned in life and abandoned in death and it was like she kept
she was saying to us, 'Don't forget' ''
Earl Barr was
in court and the public defender said that he didn't know if the
had influenced him in killing Donald. Eve Krupinski said that to blame
the radio station for the death would be ridiculous:
and Dirty Jim get a little far out, but it wasn't their words or the
of the callers
that man. They were just a vehicle for airing the anger''
said that the interest in the case of Ursula had been popular long
the radio show had aired:
old case and not about talk radio. He should have been executed
but maybe this, what happened, was Ursula's cry to us all along.''
Ashes Unclaimed Ursula Assaid 'Abandoned In Life And . . . In Death'
— The cremated remains of child-abuse victim Ursula Sunshine Assaid
been sitting for five years in a funeral home vault awaiting permission
from relatives for burial.
Funeral Home is holding the remains according to state law, but a Fern
Park child-abuse prevention group is pledging to raise money to give
a final resting place.
who started Citizens Concerned for Children in May, said Monday she has
begun collecting money to pay for a plot of land and marker so the
ashes can be buried.
Baumgart said of Ursula, who was 5 years old when her body was
from a retention pond in 1982. ''She was abandoned in life and has been
abandoned in death.''
Susan Assaid, is serving a 15-year prison term for manslaughter for
her boyfriend, Donald McDougall, emotionally and physically torture the
child to death. McDougall was sentenced to 34 years for second-degree
child was beaten,
placed in a sink of ice, made to stand for hours under a tree outside
home and forced to eat soap during two months of torture by McDougall,
according to court records. After she died, her body was placed in a
bag, weighted and dumped into the pond.
police recovered the body after Susan Assaid told authorities in
about the abuse.
she became interested in the case after reading Death from Child Abuse
. . . and no one heard, a book about Ursula by two Orlando writers. She
said she was shocked to discover recently that the kindergartner had
cremated shortly after she was found in December, 1982, said Dr. Jorge
Deju, director of the Seminole County Health Department.
for the cremation, according to county records. Deju said he believes
were Canadian relatives, who adopted a baby of Assaid and McDougall's
after their sentencings.
president of Baldwin-Fairchild Funeral Home, said Monday that state law
requires written permission from next-of-kin to release a body or
He said Ursula's ashes can be handed over only if Citizens Concerned
Children can present authorization from the father.
said he could
not comment further out of respect for the privacy of the family.
Going To Bahamas For Son's Approval To Bury Ursula
— The paternal grandfather of child-abuse victim Ursula Sunshine Assaid
will go to the Bahamas to get his son's permission to bury the child's
cremated remains, the leader of a burial drive said Thursday.
of Citizens Concerned for Children said a funeral director who has the
ashes told Raymond Assaid of Orlando there's a legal hitch blocking the
60, had signed a form this week to allow burial after publicity about
case brought offers of cemetery plots, headstones and money.
said he and
his son, Tom, did not have the money for a burial.
talked to our
attorney, and the release has to be signed by the next of kin,'' Bill
vice president of Baldwin-Fairchild Funeral Home, told United Press
''It goes in line of descent and the grandfather's not the legal next
told her he hoped to find his son, who works on a lobster boat in the
get his approval for the burial and perhaps bring him back for the
and the Assaids
could not be reached Thursday.
still hoped to hold a memorial service and burial next week. She said
people concerned about Ursula and child rights have expressed interest
in attending the service.
was 5 when
her mother's boyfriend killed her and dumped her body into a pond in
was separated from her husband when the child was killed, is serving 15
years for manslaughter. Her boyfriend, Donald McDougall, is serving 34
years for second-degree murder.
Request To Bury Ursula
— A child
advocate has asked the Seminole Circuit Court for permission to bury
remains of abuse victim Ursula Assaid because efforts to get approval
her parents have failed.
said she thought it would be easier to bury the child, whose ashes have
been kept nearly five years at an Altamonte Springs funeral home for
of a written release.
the family would come through,'' Baumgart said. ''This could be
a form of further abuse and neglect.''
case is assigned
to Circuit Judge C. Vernon Mize Jr., but no hearing date has been set.
Orlando lawyer Skip Fowler, who is representing Baumgart, said he hopes
to have a decision in a week.
a campaign in September to bury the 5-year-old, who died after three
of torture by her mother's boyfriend.
Assaid, is serving 15 years for manslaughter. Her boyfriend, Donald
was sentenced to 34 years for second-degree murder.
Assaid, a fisherman in the Bahamas, was expected to mail permission for
his child's burial. But Baldwin Fairchild Funeral Home, which is
the ashes, has received no letter.
told her former lawyer that she wanted nothing to do with the burial,
said he is
asking for a judge's ruling because the funeral home does not want to
on a state law allowing disposal of ashes if the family does not claim
them after 120 days.
the remains are
released to Baumgart, she said she plans to hold a funeral service at
Memorial Park in Orlando, which has donated a burial plot and marker
Okays Burial 5 Years After Her Slaying
— Ursula Sunshine Assaid will be buried in a public ceremony Monday,
years and a month after her weighted body was found in a duffel bag at
the bottom of an Altamonte Springs pond.
the Fern Park child-abuse prevention advocate who had campaigned for
burial since September, said Monday the girl's father gave permission
a letter verified by the Baldwin-Fairchild Funeral Home.
mortuary has held the cremated remains, awaiting directions from the
of kin. Ursula's mother is serving a 15-year sentence for letting her
torture the 5-year-old to death. The girl's father reportedly had been
in the Bahamas and could not be reached for comment.
attorney representing Baumgart, said the letter from Tom Assaid,
father, relieves the funeral home of liability and makes the burial
Permission from only one parent is needed.
suffered two months of physical and emotional abuse before dying in
1982. Her body was found Dec. 1, 1982, after her mother, Susan Assaid,
told authorities in California that she and her boyfriend, Donald
had dumped the child's body in a pond.
guilty to manslaughter and later testified against McDougall. He was
of second-degree murder and sentenced to 34 years. Baumgart announced
September that she would try to bury Ursula, setting off a scramble to
obtain permission. She tried, without success, to contact Tom Assaid
his father's signature proved insufficient to release the remains for
She then asked the Seminole Circuit Court to release the ashes.
C. Vernon Mize
Jr. delayed a hearing on the issue this month after learning that Susan
Assaid wanted a lawyer to represent her in the matter.
Dec. 14, a letter
from Tom Assaid releasing the ashes for burial was sent to the funeral
home. Jim Page, Baldwin-Fairchild's lawyer, said Monday that he
the signature on Christmas Eve and spoke with Tom Assaid, who was
relatives locally. Page said Assaid was happy to have the group bury
and plans to attend the service.
begin at 4 p.m. Monday at the main chapel of the Woodlawn Memorium
Home & Memorial Park on Old Winter Garden Road west of Orlando. The
funeral home was among several groups and individuals that offered
and markers when plans to bury Ursula were reported in September.
site was chosen
by Raymond Assaid, Tom's father, because other family members are
there. Raymond Assaid said in September his son never had the money to
bury the child.
of two, was outraged when she learned that Ursula had not been buried
said Monday she was relieved that the remains finally will be buried.
said she had
feared Susan Assaid might try to block the burial.
don't feel Susan
should have had a choice in the matter,'' Baumgart said. ''She made her
choice when she dumped Ursula in a pond five years ago.'' Assaid is
for a parole hearing next year.
Vow: Child Abuse Must End
to stop the deaths of abused children as friends and family members
in Orlando to inter the ashes of Ursula Sunshine Assaid.
people attended a tearful memorial service for the 5- year-old abuse
who died in September 1982.
at Woodlawn Funeral Home heard emotional speeches from child-protection
advocates, as well as hymns such as ''Amazing Grace.'' A photograph of
the blond girl sat next to a votive candle and her ashes. The photo was
surrounded by five flower arrangements.
group not to dwell on the brutal circumstances of Ursula's murder but
use it as a challenge to stop child abuse.
death, we have a crusade,'' said Dana Weikel, co- author of a book
Ursula's last six days.
can no longer
turn our backs on children. Her death was not for naught. I hope it
spark a fire in us . . . and make us take up the crusade,'' Weikel said.
one knows what
Ursula might have grown up to be,'' said child- protection advocate
Baumgart of Fern Park. ''Perhaps the first woman president of the
States. I feel sorry for us and all the lives Ursula would have
in the program for the half-hour service, Baumgart also expressed the
that the child's death was significant:
day you died
a star fell from the sky,
space in all of our lives.
can never be replaced
that darkened little space,
of sunshine fills the void you left behind.
with that ray
of hope you will light the world.
Ursula's father, grandfather, a friend of her father and Baumgart
a private ceremony to deposit the ashes in a niche at the Woodlawn
Tom Assaid, showed little emotion during the ceremony and declined to
to reporters. He had been separated from his wife when Ursula died
two months of torture.
child's mother, is serving a 15-year sentence for manslaughter for
her boyfriend abuse the child. The boyfriend, Donald McDougall, is
34 years for second-degree murder.
and interment were the work of Baumgart, who said she became angry
reading about Ursula's death. She learned that Ursula's ashes were
in storage at a funeral home and in September announced plans to bury
From Child Abuse...And No One Heard"
information about how to report child
abuse, please click the link below and you will be taken to a page that
has an alphabetical, state by state listing of how
to report child abuse
for which state you are looking for and for some other countries.
to report child abuse ANY WHERE in the United States!