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Child Advocacy Group Remembers Marcus Fiesel At Juilfs Park

Ann Thompson
Marcus Fiesel's picture was front and center at an event to remember the search and improve the foster care system.

It was a decade ago when thousands 0f people from Anderson Township and the surrounding area dropped what they were doing and began to search after hearing a 3-year-old boy had gone missing from Juilfs Park.

Sunday night a couple dozen gathered to remember Marcus Fiesel and press for change in the foster care  system. Holly Schlaak of the group Invisible Kids organized the event. "It's really going to be the power of community prioritizing these kids; standing together and saying enough is enough. We want accountability. We want transparency. We want to help."

A few in the group had searched for Fiesel 10 years earlier including Mike Connelly from Amelia. To this day he says he still thinks of Marcus. Remembering the search, "We thought he was alive, and only later learned he was not."

Fiesel's foster parent, David Carroll, reported the special needs preschooler missing on August 15, 2006. He told people at Juilfs Park he arrived with four children and now only had three. His wife, Liz Carroll, had collapsed and was taken to the hospital.

Once out, she held a news conference pleading for whomever had taken him to bring the foster child back.

Hundreds of volunteers in groups of 15 were sent out to search. Police and fire crews set up a command post. There were dive teams and the Hamilton County Sheriff's helicopter looked for the boy.

Soon police and prosecutors would discover the Carroll's story was based on lies. Eleven days earlier Marcus was bound up in a closet and left for dead while his foster parents went to a family reunion.

David and Liz were convicted of murder in Clermont County Court. She is serving 54 years in prison. He was sentenced to 15 years to life.

At Sunday's event, Schlaak said, with change, "Marcus's search cannot end in a closet. It can't be a meaningless search." She said other children must benefit from mistakes made in the past.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.