Archive for Saturday, August 12, 2006

Child of murder victim finally at home

August 12, 2006

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Her mother has been killed, and her father is in prison for the murder.

But on Friday, 7-year-old Ciara Ross got a new parent and a new last name during an adoption ceremony in Douglas County District Court. Ciara was adopted by her aunt Heather Ross, a younger sister of Ciara's deceased mother, Carmin Ross.

Ciara wore a sparkly pink dress and heels and carried a new teddy bear given to her as an adoption day gift. She was accompanied by members of her extended family, as well as local attorneys and sheriff's officers who worked with the family after Ross' stabbing death in November 2003 at her home north of Lawrence.

"This is one of the happiest days that we've all had in a long time," Heather Ross said after the ceremony.

With the stroke of a pen, Judge Robert Fairchild changed Ciara's name from Ciara Ross-Murray to Ciara Ross, dropping the last name of her father, former Kansas State University professor Thomas E. Murray. He was convicted of murder in the same courtroom in March 2005 and later sentenced to life in prison.

"We're here for a happy occasion for once," Fairchild said at the beginning of the hearing.

Ciara Ross, 7, gathers with her aunts, from left, Samantha Fabbri, Heather Ross and April Russell at Douglas County District Court for friends and family to snap photographs. Ciara was officially adopted by Heather Ross on Friday at the court. Ciara's father, Thomas E. Murray, was convicted in the November 2003 killing of her mother, Carmin Ross.

Ciara Ross, 7, gathers with her aunts, from left, Samantha Fabbri, Heather Ross and April Russell at Douglas County District Court for friends and family to snap photographs. Ciara was officially adopted by Heather Ross on Friday at the court. Ciara's father, Thomas E. Murray, was convicted in the November 2003 killing of her mother, Carmin Ross.

"Heather, you have a new daughter, and Ciara, you have a new adopted mother. Congratulations," the judge said before those in the courtroom burst into applause.

Ciara, who's about to start second grade, was attending preschool in Lawrence at the time Carmin Ross' body was discovered in her home in the 1800 section of East 1150 Road. Ross had divorced Murray in Manhattan and moved to Lawrence in an attempt to create a new home for Ciara.

Ross' plan was to move to California with her new love interest. Her death came just as she was preparing for a child-custody battle with Murray.

Murray, a linguistics expert, remained free for nearly a year before his arrest in October 2004. There was little physical evidence to link him to the scene, and prosecutors alleged he tried to plot the perfect murder and cover up evidence.

He was convicted after a suspenseful monthlong trial.

Since Murray's conviction, Ciara has been living in Lapel, Ind., where much of her extended family lives, including her new mother and her grandparents, Danny and Judi Ross. She does not have any siblings, but she lives close to two young cousins who have become her playmates.

Murray had his parental rights severed earlier this summer, and he did not contest the adoption plan, the Rosses said.

Ciara hasn't had any contact with her father since his arrest, but she regularly asks questions about him. She once told family members she had three "mysteries" in her head: "Who hurt my mommy?"; "Did my daddy do it?"; and "Is he a good person or a bad person?"

"We've talked with her about it only from the standpoint of answering her questions," Danny Ross said Friday. "We have never made any negative comments with regard to her dad. I think she's just still sorting through it. As she gets older, she asks more in-depth questions. : There's a lot going on that she doesn't really understand."

For now, the family has one priority: celebrating.

"We're planning a great big party for next Saturday," Heather Ross said. "We're having clowns and moonwalks and dunk tanks."

Comments

sweetpeagj 8 years, 8 months ago

Finally something happyafter all this radegy. God luck to Ciara and her new mom. May God shine his light upon you and allow you to achieve all your dreams and goals.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 8 months ago

reading those questions she has tore my heart out. Good luck in your life little one.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 8 months ago

It's great that this girl has someone looking out for her. Too many children don't have that in their lives.

God Bless them all.

Calliope877 8 years, 8 months ago

I hope her mother rests in peace knowing that Ciara will be well cared for.

amazed 8 years, 8 months ago

What exactly are you saying, enforcer? What is wrong with you?

acg 8 years, 8 months ago

amazed, save your breath, man, seriously. Enforcer is a lost cause to us all. We've tried, we really have. But, it's a no go on this twit. My daddy had a saying for folks like enforcer "lights are on, but nobody's home". Just shake your head in awe and disgust and move on. It will save you an unnecessary headache.

reginafliangie 8 years, 8 months ago

The guy is a liar and killer. I just didn't buy the "looking up information on how to kill somebody and not getting caught, was for a script for Law and Order". What a story. His blood was in her house and he had a cut. "It was from wrestling with his daughter". Yeah, right. What a bunch of crap he told. The guy is were he belongs.

ForThePeople 8 years, 8 months ago

Old Bill Burroughs must've known enforcer years ago when he wrote "The Talking ---hole"...I'm beginning to think it was written in her honor. Because here she goes again spewing stuff out her rearend on a topic she knows little to nothing about. OOPS...she read the newspaper...what a way to educate yourself....ROTFLMAO!!!

dthroat 8 years, 8 months ago

I know this is a waste of time on Enforcer, but...

If it will "all be taken care of" on appeal - then WHERE IS THE APPEAL???? If it is THAT clear the decision was wrong, why haven't the attorneys appealed instead of continueing to ask for more time to study the "issues". And by the way, notice the high dollar attorneys have dropped him now??

One thing you are right about is there was not a great amount of physical evidence at the scene. Guess what - life is not CSI who can find anything, anywhere.

What hurt Murray was he actually got a "jury of his peers". They were a mix of very educated (several PhD's like Murray) and people who actually listened to the evidence and could follow it.

Thank (whoever) for that.

ForThePeople 8 years, 8 months ago

Enforcer....if he wasn't guilty....why didn't he contest his parental rights being taken away....or did you miss that in your daily educational material.

BTW....I never said that the guy at CLO was or was not quilty....I questioned you on your information, which to this day you haven't been able to back!

ForThePeople 8 years, 8 months ago

now do you want to know why I know about the rules govorning parental rights? Because I tried to do it to my ex, problem is it cost $5000.00 dollars and child molestation oonly counts as one. forthepeople I chose to not exchange with you any further.

Too much information.....the less I know about you the better.....you are just icky.....and I'm just fine with you not responding to my posts....but that's not gonna stop me from calling you out when you show your ignorance!

ForThePeople 8 years, 8 months ago

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ForThePeople 8 years, 8 months ago

Yes, I believe that the circumstantial case against Miller ....Who? This article was about Murphy....but Miller was guilty too!

ForThePeople 8 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

ForThePeople 8 years, 8 months ago

Nice Hester....now can you do a little incantation to protect enforcer from herself!

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