Custodial dad JOHN DEBLASE has been claiming he didn't technically murder the kids, see. He just dumped the bodies. I guess the fine gloss he's trying to put on the matter isn't impressing the authorities, as they're slapping him with a murder charge anyway.
Just how did this POS get custody anyway? Just had to have possession of the kids, didn't he. Just so he could kill them. Typical mentality of the abusive custodial father.
Dad of missing Ala. kids charged with murder
By BRIAN SKOLOFF
The Associated Press
Updated: 8:25 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010
Published: 3:13 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010
VANCLEAVE, Miss. — High on sleeping pills and fearing he might get lost, authorities say, John DeBlase carried his 3-year-old son's lifeless body just 50 feet off a highway into the Mississippi woods, dumped him in the brush and covered the boy with twigs.
Three months later, he discarded his dead 5-year-old daughter in rural Alabama, police say, then went on with his life.
On Wednesday, authorities found the remains believed to be his son Chase, and DeBlase was charged with two counts of murder.
He had been held for child abuse and corpse abuse.
"We believe at this point that he did in fact kill his son" and daughter, Mobile Police Officer Chris Levy said.
DeBlase and the children's stepmother were arrested last week, and authorities searched for the children's remains in Alabama and Mississippi over the weekend. Neither child had been seen for months.
An investigation into their disappearance didn't start until late last month after their stepmother, Heather Leavell-Keaton, sought a protective order against DeBlase in Kentucky, Levy said. She said in the Nov. 18 filing that DeBlase "may have murdered his children," and that she feared for her life. The couple just had a child together this summer.
"I am afraid that he is going to do something to harm our daughter because of what he has done to the other children," she wrote.
DeBlase has blamed her for his children's deaths, and police say they're both responsible.
DeBlase, 27, has been assisting police in the search for the bodies. Remains of his daughter, Natalie, haven't been found yet, but DeBlase told police he dumped her body in the woods north of Mobile in June. He says he dumped the boy's body in March.
"Everything we found is absolutely consistent with the information he gave to us on what to look for," Levy said.
Levy said the bones were found under twigs in the same area that had been searched over the weekend.
Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd, whose deputies conducted the search Wednesday, said no clothing was discovered with the remains. He said DeBlase told authorities his son was wearing just a diaper when he put his body in a black plastic trash bag and dumped it in the woods.
"It was concealed pretty well. If you didn't walk up on it and look, you wouldn't have seen it," Byrd said.
Byrd said DeBlase told him he couldn't remember exactly where he put the body because he was high on sleeping pills at the time. Investigators say DeBlase dumped the body so close to the road because he didn't want to get lost in the woods.
Leavell-Keaton is jailed in Louisville, Ky. on child abuse charges and awaiting return to Mobile, where she, too, could soon face charges in the children's deaths.
DeBlase's father, Richard, said he had no comment on Wednesday's grim discovery.
"We're doing all right," he said.
The children's biological mother, Corrine DeBlase Heathcock, was "devastated" by the news, said her pastor Rob Willmann.
"I love my children, and I will remember to the day that I die their laughter, love, and smiles," Heathcock said in a statement released by Willmann.
Leavell-Keaton's mother, Helena Keaton, called the whole situation "horrid."
"It pains me for these little kids," Keaton told The Associated Press. "There is nothing they could have done to deserve this, and to be cast away like this."
DeBlase was arraigned earlier Wednesday on the lesser charges. A judge set a preliminary hearing for Jan. 4. DeBlase's newly appointed lawyer, Jim Sears, said he had only spoken briefly with his client and declined to comment on the discussion.
"He's considered innocent and we'll take it from there," Sears said.
Levy said witnesses have told authorities both suspects regularly beat the kids.
DeBlase and Leavell-Keaton had been together since 2008, but are not married. The couple met on the website MySpace while DeBlase and his children were living with his parents and Leavell-Keaton was attending nearby Spring Hill College in Mobile.
Her mother said her daughter was legally blind and dependent on DeBlase.
"She does not know really what happened to the kids. We suspect he poisoned them," Keaton told the AP before the discovery of the boy's bones.
In the spring, Keaton said, DeBlase forced Leavell-Keaton to go on a long ride. DeBlase finally stopped and got something out of the vehicle, Keaton said, but Leavell-Keaton — who was pregnant at the time with DeBlase's third child — was unsure what it was. However, Leavell-Keaton made no mention of this in her filing for protection from DeBlase.
DeBlase's parents say Leavell-Keaton controlled the relationship and forced him to move out of their home with the kids.
They told the AP they suspect Leavell-Keaton killed the kids during a fit of rage while DeBlase attended night classes to become a personal trainer, then manipulated him into getting rid of the bodies.
Still, they're not excusing their son.
"I can't believe John is responsible for this, but I know he could have prevented it," DeBlase's mother, Dorothy, said.
Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Ala.; Kendal Weaver in Montgomery, Ala.; and Janet Cappiello Blake in Louisville, Ky.