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Killers Try Again

September 2, 2006 permalink

Michigan DHS, already known for serial deaths in the Lethbridge family, is trying again.

In the case of Matt and Jennifer Lethbridge, the state of Michigan has seized nine children, even reaching across the border into Canada to grab one. Their oldest girl died of medical problems, a boy was murdered, and according to information from the family not yet in the press, another girl was infected with hepatitis. In the two occasions in which the Lethbridges had a child in their own care for over a year, it suffered no harm.

Last year Ricky Holland, Casey Jo Caswell's son seized by Michigan DHS and placed for adoption, was murdered by his adoptive parents. The shameless agency has just taken another child from Casey Jo for its "protection".

Sadly, serial seizure is routine in cases of children killed in protection. In 1999 Massachusetts DSS removed two children, Kyle and Damien, from their mother Diana Ross. In June 2001 Kyle Ross was killed by the foster family's rottweiler. DSS shamelessly took her next child, Aaron, born two months later, into their custody.

Maybe real parents should get a chance to care for their own children.



State seizes baby from Ricky's birth mom

Infant is woman's fifth child taken by officials; one was boy adoptive parents allegedly killed.

Ricky Holland
Ricky Holland

For a few joyous hours Wednesday, Casey Jo Caswell -- the birth mother of murdered 7-year-old Ricky Holland -- thought she would get another chance to raise a child.

But 11 hours after giving birth at Lansing's Ingham Regional Medical Center, state Department of Human Services took custody of the child and forbid Casey and her husband, Matt Caswell, from having contact with the 8-pound, 11 1/2 ounce girl named Alexia Jordan.

"She's devastated," Matt Caswell said.

"The baby's in the nursery, and she's not able to get any breast milk from her mother."

It's the fifth baby for Caswell, 25. The state took custody of the other four, including Ricky, and eventually allowed Tim and Lisa Holland to adopt them.

They both face trial in Ingham County Circuit Court for the murder of the boy reported missing July 2, 2005, and found in a swamp in January.

Both blame the other for the death. Lisa Holland's trial starts Sept. 11, while Tim's is scheduled for January.

Ricky's siblings are now in the custody of Tim Holland's relatives.

By law, the state must immediately file a petition to terminate the rights of parents who previously had children taken away and parental rights terminated, if there's evidence that another baby would be harmed, said Steve Yager, director of the state Office of the Family Advocate.

Ricky was 3 years old when a Jackson Circuit Court Judge terminated his birth mother's parental rights, citing longstanding homelessness and unemployment.

In 2005, she married longtime friend Matt Caswell, who pleaded no contest in 2003 to second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a 3-year-old girl. He claims he was framed and is innocent.

You can reach Karen Bouffard at (734) 462-2206 or

Detroit News