It was a heart-breaking death, which is raising a lot of questions about parenting in critical incidents in life. In India, child abuse has not been included within the ambits of Domestic Violence Act. A decision to allow his child to walk 10 miles may make a father culpable to second degree murder in the USA.
Girl, 11, died after her father forced her to walk 10 miles in a snowstorm on Christmas Day
30th December 2008
A girl of 11 died after her father allowed her to walk ten miles through a snowstorm when their pick-up truck got stuck on Christmas Day.
Sage Aragon froze to death trying to reach her mother’s house together with her 12-year-old brother, Bear.
The youngsters’ father, Robert Aragon, allowed the pair to set off on foot while he tried to free his truck from a snowdrift.
Aragon, 55, then returned to his home in Jerome, Idaho, leaving it to his partner JoLeta Jenks to alert the police.
A search and rescue team found the boy at a rest area near the highway shortly before 10pm on Thursday night.
Adults in the search effort described the snow as knee-deep for them.
The younsgter was found wearing only long underwear, Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling said in a news release.
Apparently delusional from hypothermia, the child had discarded his jacket, pants and shoes, the sheriff’s office said. He was treated and released at a nearby hospital.
The rest area was about 4.5 miles from where the children started walking.
At some point the pair separated and their mother said her son told her they disagreed about whether to keep going or turn back.
‘(Bear) kept on telling her: “Let’s go, Sage, let’s go, Sage”,’ Jenks said, recalling what her son told her. ‘Sage said, “No, I’m going back”.’
The little girl was found about 2.7 miles from where the two set out.
She was barely visible under windblown, drifting snow when search dogs located her along a local road about 2am on Friday.
She was wearing a brown down coat, black shirt, pink pajama pants and tan snowboots, the sheriff’s office statement said.
‘I thought she was alive because they said they found her,’ Jenks said. ‘I was excited.’
The girl was pronounced dead at a Ketchum hospital; preliminary post mortem results indicate she died of hypothermia.
Officials say temperatures in the area at the time the girl was missing touched -20C.
Jenks and Aragon are not married.
While she said she doesn’t understand the decision Aragon is accused of making in letting the children walk to her house, Jenks added: ‘I don’t need to sit and yell. I know he’s going through hell right now.’
Aragon appeared in a court charged with second degree murder and felony injury to a child.
A judge denied Aragon’s request to lower his $500,000 bond. He was being held in the Blaine County Jail.
Aragon was emotional during the short hearing. He banged his head on the defendant’s table as Ingram read the charges against him.
After Ingram noted that second-degree murder carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, Aragon said ‘Oh my God’ as he banged his head on the table one final time.