Texas woman whose child is missing had son who was killed
DALLAS (AP) — A woman who lives at a Texas home where the body of a young child was found buried in a flower garden had a son who was fatally beaten more than a decade ago, officials said Monday.
Virginia Ann Adams, 35, was being held at the Brazos County jail on a charge of interfering with the custody of a child. Police in Bryan said she was uncooperative when questioned on the whereabouts of her 3-year-old daughter, Rayven Shields, who was last seen in June.
State Child Protective Services on Wednesday served an order seeking to take custody of Rayven, according to Bryan police Sgt. Ryan Bona. Caseworkers also attempted to find the girl earlier in the summer but were unsuccessful.
At one point while talking to authorities, Adams reported knowing the whereabouts of the child and said the girl was safe, according to a probable cause statement.
Adams was arrested Wednesday and the body was found two days later. Authorities haven’t yet identified the remains.
She remains jailed on a $75,000 bond. Online jail records don’t indicate whether she has an attorney.
Investigators are waiting on confirmation on the identity of the remains, Bona said Monday, while continuing to seek additional information on the case and giving first-responders who discovered the decomposed body time to grieve.
“In our opinion one time is too many,” Bona said of the discovery. “Fortunately, we don’t deal with this too often but it still hits close to home when it does.”
David Barron, formerly district attorney of Grimes, Leon and Madison counties, was the defense attorney in 2005 for Adams’ ex-husband, Timothy Lewis, when Lewis was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison for the death of Adams’ son, 4-year-old Tyrone Fenner.
“It was our defensive theory that she was responsible for the death of Tyrone and he took the fall for her,” Barron said Monday.
Both Lewis and Adams were with Tyrone at their College Station apartment in 2004 when the boy suffered extensive injuries that included a severe head wound and trauma to the liver, kidney and spleen. He died more than two weeks later when he was removed from life support due to irreversible brain damage, according to a court ruling in 2007 that rejected Lewis’ appeal.
The two had claimed Tyrone’s injuries were suffered when he fell from the toilet. CPS officials at the time said Adams, who was never charged, gave conflicting accounts about what happened to the child. Lewis acknowledged using drugs shortly after the boy was hospitalized.
Barron argued in his appeal that Adams had implicated herself by telling her mother-in-law on one occasion that Adams “hated kids” and “wished all the kids were dead.”
Adams has had at least two other children aside from Tyrone and Rayven.
Bona said he wasn’t familiar with the 2004 death and said the scope of the current investigation right now deals only with the body found Friday.
“We now have an open homicide investigation that we’ll begin working on,” he said.
Associated Press writer Ryan Tarinelli in Dallas contributed to this report.