Saturday, January 25, 2014

UPDATE: Fire that Killed Two Children

RAY COUNTY, MO (KCTV) -
The mother of two young boys who perished in a mobile home fire has been charged with two counts of third-degree domestic assault.
Tamara Willis is scheduled to make a court appearance Wednesday on the misdemeanor charges. Details weren't available Friday evening on the nature of the charges that stem from a Jan. 11 incident, but they are unrelated to the death of Willis' children.
The investigation continues into the December fire that took the lives of 3-year-old Roger Garrison and his 1-year-old brother, Ashton.
The boys' father, Randy Garrison, and members of Willis' family traded accusations and blame in the hours and days after the fire. A distraught Willis was taken to the hospital for a mental evaluation after the fire.
Investigators have been tight lipped about details of the fire, including how it started or when the investigation by the Missouri Fire Marshal's Office will be wrapped up. 

previous article:

RAY COUNTY, MO (KCTV) -
As state investigators probe the cause of a fire that claimed the lives of two boys, family members are trading accusations and blame.
Roger Garrison, 3, and his 1-year-old brother, Ashton, died in Tuesday's fire. Their distraught father, Randy Garrison, on Tuesday night described his futile efforts to pull his two sons from their burning bedroom.
Garrison suffered burns to his hands and the back of his neck. KCTV5's Betsy Webster saw blisters on his hands and his hair was singed.
He also raised questions about the behavior of their mother.
Their maternal grandmother came to KCTV5 on Wednesday to stand up for her daughter, Tamara Willis, and provided her version of events.
Officials are incredibly tight-lipped about the fire, which occurred near Orrick.
Ray County Sheriff Garry Bush said both parents are extremely distraught, and the children's mother was taken in for a mental evaluation after the fire occurred.
Marjorie Long said her daughter is bi-polar and needed treatment after driving to the scene and becoming distraught over the loss of her children. Long said Willis had left the home to run an errand.
"She was quite clearly upset," an emotional Long said. "Several of the firemen, police were holding her back because she was wanting to run into the still burning remains of the house to get them."
She said the family is struggling to cope, and appreciates the love and support that they are receiving.
"You have to go forward," she said while crying. "You just have to."
Garrison was at the charred remains of the home Tuesday night and returned again on Wednesday. He said he had hoped to find items belonging to his sons. 
When he spoke to reporters Tuesday night, Garrison described the boys as his rock, saying they were the reason he got up every day. 
"Don't look at me like I'm a bad father. I'm not a bad father. My kids were everything to me," he said. "Imagine being a parent and waking up hearing your kids screaming and their whole bedroom is on fire and you can't do anything ... I tried everything I could to rescue everything I had in life, my two babies."
Note the embedded "I'm a bad father" does not quote someone else.  
Note the distancing language of "a parent" and "your kids" and "you" can't...
Note that "my kids" were "everything" to him, but "my two babies" were unable to be rescued.  "Babies" is vulnerable, incapable of self assistance.  
The fire was reported about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at the home in the 9600 block of Shach Creek Road, which is just west of Route O near Orrick. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
KMZU spoke with Ray County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Brian Bush, who offered limited details. 
"There was a male subject that came out of the house. He advised that there could be two more subjects inside the residence. And since then two juveniles have been located in [there] at this time," he said Tuesday.
The word "advised" sounds more like police/fire jargon.
Note he is quoted as saying that there "could be" two more subjects.  
Garrison said he lived at the home with his children and Willis. He said he and Willis still lived together for the sake of the children even though their romantic relationship had ended.
Garrison told KCTV5 that he had come home from an overnight job about 6 a.m. He said his two children and their mother were in the living room when he went to sleep.
He said he is a sound sleeper. He said his boys' screams woke him up. He said there were flames and smoke throughout the house. 
"It was the worst thing you can ever hear in your life to hear your kids screaming like that," he said. 
2nd person distancing language is noted.  Some will distance themselves due to guilt; others due to pain.  2nd person is more likely to be heard when an event is common to others.  This event is unclose and very personal. This is a form of 'defense', as he sounds defensive of himself, including the  need to say he was a heavy sleeper, though no direct quote is used. 
He said he tripped over something while racing to his boys' bedroom. He said he tried to open the door but found it tied shut with something that he said looked like a bungee cord.
He said he escaped the house and ran outside. He said he tried to punch holes in the walls to get to his boys but couldn't.
Garrison said he named his oldest son after his younger brother, Roger, who died in a trailer fire in 1989 at age 5.
He said the boys' mother wasn't in the home when he was trying to rescue the boys, and he doesn't know where she was. He said he has refused to speak to her since the fire.
He and his family members made veiled accusations toward Willis in interviews and on social media.
For her part, Long raised questions about comments made by Garrison.
She said her daughter woke Garrison up before leaving the house, telling him she had an appointment to go to. Long said her daughter claims Garrison went outside to have a cigarette and came back in.
"When she left, the boys were in the living room and Randy was awake," Long said, adding her daughter left hours before the fire started.
Long said the boys were found in the living room, not the bedroom as Garrison claimed.
"The kids were in the living room. They were found by firemen in the living room. She did not put a cord on the door. The reason why I'm talking to you guys. . .  is to point out the inconsistencies of what was said last night and today."
She also raised questions about Garrison's bungee-cord claiming, saying it didn't add up. 
She said she doesn't know how the fire started, but said the Missouri Fire Marshal's Office is investigating because "they think something was not quite right."
Additional fire departments assisted at the scene. The Missouri Highway Patrol also assisted. 

25 comments:

SKEoD said...

according to Missouri Revised Statutes Domestic assault, third degree, it seems to me LE is believing the father's story beings they arrested the mother.

http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/c500-599/5650000074.htm

elf said...

If the boys were found in the living room, that blows the fathers story out of the water doesn't it? He said he heard them screaming from the bedroom that was tied shut. I'm still wondering why the kids bedroom door would have been tied shut. And why did the ffather not try to break a window to get his kids? There's usually a window in every room in a trailer or house, more points of egress.

Anonymous said...

A person who is bipolar will do anything that comes into their mind. They may regret it so much the next day, but their impulse control is next to zero!

He came home at 6am. She was pissed! I think she started the fire and left.

elf said...

Domestic assault in Missouri means you've physically assaulted a person your related to or live with. Setting fire to a house and killing two children isn't assault - its arson and murder.

Anonymous said...

Garrisons' story sounded pretty good to me until I read the story the boys mothers' mom gave. Now her story sounds pretty good and his not so much.

I agree with Elf though, if the boys bodies were found in the living room and not in their bedroom with a cord tying their door shut; that makes a big liar and possibly a suspect out of Garrison.

Anon @11:30, wasnt' it said that Garrison came home from work at 6:00 a.m. because he'd worked an all-night shift?

SKEoD said...

i knew i couldnt trust that anyone would click on the link.
perhaps LE can't prove arson and are going this route to at least get some justice.
take a look at the parents facebook pages, many photos of the boys.

Domestic assault, third degree--penalty.

565.074. 1. A person commits the crime of domestic assault in the third degree if the act involves a family or household member, including any child who is a member of the family or household, as defined in section 455.010 and:

(1) The person attempts to cause or recklessly causes physical injury to such family or household member; or

(2) With criminal negligence the person causes physical injury to such family or household member by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument; or

(3) The person purposely places such family or household member in apprehension of immediate physical injury by any means; or

(4) The person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death or serious physical injury to such family or household member; or

(5) The person knowingly causes physical contact with such family or household member knowing the other person will regard the contact as offensive; or

(6) The person knowingly attempts to cause or causes the isolation of such family or household member by unreasonably and substantially restricting or limiting such family or household member's access to other persons, telecommunication devices or transportation for the purpose of isolation.

2. Except as provided in subsection 3 of this section, domestic assault in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.

3. A person who has pleaded guilty to or been found guilty of the crime of domestic assault in the third degree more than two times against any family or household member as defined in section 455.010, or of any offense committed in violation of any county or municipal ordinance in any state, any state law, any federal law, or any military law which, if committed in this state, would be a violation of this section, is guilty of a class D felony for the third or any subsequent commission of the crime of domestic assault. The offenses described in this subsection may be against the same family or household member or against different family or household members.

Jen Ow said...

As far as I know, no official source has confirmed where the boys bodies were found. I'm not going to take the accused woman's mother's word for anything.

It seems by the charges filed that LE is favoring the father's version of events. However, I have questions about BOTH sides of the story. If Garrison tripped over the bungee cord tying the door shut, then why didn't he remove it, and save his children? Also, if he really gave it his all to save them, I would expect him to be BADLY burned, not just superficially burned on his hands and neck.

As for her side of the story, if she was awake with the boys in the living room at 6am when Garrison came home and went to bed, then why did she leave the boys with him when he was either sleeping or exhausted. Even if she claims to have woken him before leaving, he would surely be in no shape to provide supervision for very young children.

The truth about what happened likely lies in something neither of them included in their version of events, like a big argument..and maybe even an attempt by the mother to teach Garrison a 'lesson'.

JerseyJane said...

Trailer fires are quick moving and the worst!! There literally is no time.. The dad said he first tripped over something then got to the door and it appeared to be bungee shut... Bungee cords at not the simpliest things to undo, especially if tightly looped or double knotted then over-stretched pressure, add in horridous fire and toxic quick- acting smoke.. Open a door with that in place, lucky if it opens 2inches and snaps back in place.. I never seen a bungee cord just stretched and hooked, most people wrap, loop, knot and over-stretch them... I believe that mom thought she could contain them in their room as dad slept and she ran an errand..

JerseyJane said...

Thanks, SKEoD for info. I wonder why article said charge not related to fire? Maybe it's number 6, isolating the children..

Anonymous said...

I guess if it's true that the boys burned bodies were found in the living room, as the mothers' mom says the mother (her daughter) said is where she left them, then we'll know this sooner or later after the investigation is more underway, wouldn'tcha think?

Either way, whether found in the living room or found in their bedroom, the mother was totally wrong, reckless and irresponsible, to go off and leave these two babies with their exhausted daddy for him to watch after he'd been up all night; he says, working an overnight shift.

Even if he did go outside to smoke a cigarette before she left, and seeing him wide awake at that time, he STILL would have been too tired to be alert enough to watch those babies for hours with no sleep. I don't care where the hell she went, she should have bundled them up and taken them with her if she couldn't find someone to come there and take care of them.

Jersey Jane could be right. However, it remains to be seen whether there had been a bungee cord used to keep the boys bedroom locked with them in it, but it certainly could have been possible, by either the father or the mother!

The father could have done it just as easily as the mother so he could get some sleep without the babies wandering around all over the place. The father also could have fallen asleep smoking a cigarette and caused the fire himself. I think there's more to this story yet to be known.

lane said...

snipped by me

Details weren't available Friday evening on the nature of the charges that stem from a Jan. 11 incident, but they are unrelated to the death of Willis' children.

The incident was Jan. 11

Anonymous said...

Anyway, the conclusion to my post at 5:26 is this: The father is the one who was there alone with the babies when the fire broke out. He can use all the reasons (or excuses) he wants too in not being able to get them out; but IN FACT, he is the one who was there and it was HIS responsibility to get them out and not the mothers' responsibility since she wasn't even there at the time.

Also, I wonder why he didn't see the bungee cord that tied up the boys door blocking them in before he went to bed, IFF the mother tied up the door with the bungee cord before she left as he claims she did. She claims he was outside smoking a cigarette when she left. Was he? All this remains to be seen.

Like I mentioned above; maybe he is the one who blocked off the boys' door with the bungee cord before he went to bed, then was unable to remove it quickly enough after he saw the fire. In conclusion, I suspect him just as much as I do her, if not more. So far all we know that she did wrong was negligently and carelessly leave them there with him in the first place.

JerseyJane said...

Well, maybe the wife domestic assaulted the husband, article talks of families blaming each other. Wife probably took it further..

Peter underlined some words spoken by maternal grandma, get to work on them everyone!! LoL Hmmm, Dont look good..

elf said...

Yea. Why don't you read it again yourself ske. I live in Missouri. It clearly states her current charges are not related to the fire. Besides, didn't the fire happen in the end of 2013? The current charges are from January.
Sometimes your intelligence makes you unseemly.

elf said...

HTTP://WWW.komu.com/news/mo-patrol-joining-investigation-into-fatal-fire/
near the end of the article- ray county sheriff office asked for help from no highway patrol drug and crime unit.

This sounds judgmental but the mom looks like a typical meth-head. As I've said before I'm from Missouri and our state has a huge methamphetimine problem. I wonder if the parents had a lab and it blew up. That would also explain why the kids door was tied shut, if they were in there. It would also explain the burns in the father's hands and singed hair, as well as the most disturbing aspect (in my opinion) that the father tried to tear down an outside wall instead of breaking a window to get his kids out.
Meth makes you think your thinking clearly, but it doesn't. Tweekers always take the long, involved way to do things, every minute detail must be seen but the drug makes the brain go too fast... logic gets lost in the madness.

Anonymous said...

Jersey Jane, I'm not going to get into this with you as to 'he said, she said', or what G/mama said when she wasn't even there at the time, and so on.... but maybe I'd have been tempted to knock the hell outta my hubby too had he let my kids burn to death; in fact, I might have tried to kill the b'stard. So much for that.

In any event, elf is likely 51%+ correct in his (her?) speculation of the probable meth lab in the MH. I've read many times of the many home lab meth makers in Mo; that's not to say they had one, as we don't yet know, but it certainly is a possibility. The fact is, he does give the appearance of brain-substance- lunacy in attempting to break down the side of the MH instead of breaking out a window. Fool.

Whatever happened there; it's just a damned shame these two ever brought babies into this world when neither one of them were capable of taking care of babies. However, to repeat from my previous posts above; HE is the one who was there at the time, on duty, supposedly taking care of his kids whether he was asleep or not when the fire broke out, or however it broke out, and HE would be the one to first show what was he doing and how was he taking care of those babies.

They both should be given polygraph tests and they BOTH should be charged at the least with negligence leading to the deaths of their babies, whether they fail or pass their polys. Also, if there was a meth lab on the premises or any other kinds of drugs, then they should both be charged with homicide in the deaths of these babies as well.

I just hope the eventual truth comes out, but I have my doubts as it appears that LE is already taking his side of the story for granted without even thoroughly investigating and learning the real facts.

elf said...

I think the sheriff office knows that the father isn't telling the whole truth. That's why they asked the highway patrol drug and crime unit for assistance.
I hadn't thought of Meth as a contributing factor until I saw the mothers picture (up top) .
P.s. I'm a woman anon lol

Anonymous said...

if you go to their facebook pages, you will see they are bikers, so meth may be a factor, or even a lab.

Anonymous said...

Knowing the mother's criminal history, and being pretty darn close to the whole issue, a simple check of Missouri Case net for her court docket on this, in Layfette, it'll show the conditions of her bond as well as the fact she is to have no contact with RMG (that's Randy) and DDG (Randy's brother).

She attacked both of them. She is a KNOWN chronic drug abuser. And she has a history of neglecting children.

As for the he said/she said on the fire, you really only know what Randy put out there, and what her mother put out there. And her mother always gets her 15 mins, and always talks for her daughter.

Be it in front of the news, or in a court room, her mother does the talking, all the time. Plus, that entire family is known for being druggies.

I wouldn't be shocked if Tamara, yet again, manages to slide out of any consequences for her actions, she's got the luck of the devil when she runs up against the law.

****
As for the assaults, well, anyone can say it's the mania from bi polar, but let me leave you with this thought:

Mood swings and being irrational are issues. But when does a person actually get the therapy and help they need to lead a productive life living with BP? There are MANY people that are living with it, and they aren't out doing drugs, being neglectful parents, and never, ever growing up. This woman is almost 31 years old, has given birth to FOUR children now, two of which were removed from her care.

If Randy and/or Tamara are complacent in that fire, the truth with come out soon.

But for this one, she needs to actually suffer the consequences. She violated her probation FFS. Had she been a man, she wouldn't have gotten bonded out. Just saying!

JerseyJane said...

Anon at 7:08pm

WTF u talking about? I did not address you, let alone the "he said", "she said" bullshit. I spoke of trailer fires, bungee cords, finished with expressing a short opinion sentence of what mom may have done as dad slept. I was trying to figure out the assault charge against the mom and was right, she beat on the husband.. Lastly, Peter underlined key words from grandma like "kids" shows possible abuse.
U sound like the anon that started shit with Kellie Sue.
My advise to you is stop talking out ur ass and dragging people into ur stupid shit.. No one is here to please you... Giving Elf a 51%,?? It must of been very very hard for you to throw that 1% in her direction!! Hehehe UR not going to last long here, people can comment how they want and analyze statements. Stop acting like comments are directed or spoken to you, they're not, Ms.Queen of the Mountain!!

JerseyJane said...

7:08AM

Anonymous said...


Wowzer Miz Jane. You have done boxed my ears.

Kidding aside, I'm sorry. I guess my post from 7:08 didn't come out so well. I apologize. Didn't mean to getcha all worked up.

You need to watch that getting all stressed out and blowing a gasket over a stranger on the interwebs, however. You could cause yourself a little stroke there, missy.

Seriously, my apologies JJ.

JerseyJane said...

Anon 4:17am

Your first paragraph is cute! I love it! LOL

I squash things with humor 99% of the time..my paragraph was "the missing 1%"..lol.. I apologies to you back.

As far as a heart attack or stroke, I have to eat healthy, I live in NJ...LoL.... Thank goodness, it's the Garden State..
NJ was known as the Crossroads of the Revolutionary War, yup, still is a war zone. Much bigger concern.. Peace:-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you JJ. I appreciate your kindness, understanding and forgiveness for my misworded post that turned out to be a little rude in your direction.

Oh yeah, honey bun; it's always possible to find a little humor if we only remember to try before we run off foaming at the mouth making matters worse than they were in the first place... but actually more important to find someone on the receiving end who is willing to accept it as humor.

THAT would be you peaches! HAVE a good day friend; a better person than I am. T/Y!

Anonymous said...

Have there been any developments in this case ?