Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dad charged in death of newborn twin daughter, abuse of other twin; what happened to their mother? (Fairfax County, Virginia)

We've commented before on the media's persistent tendency to erase mothers from stories concerning child abuse committed by fathers. It's as if they never existed, as if the violent father's access and control does not need to be explained. Where is the mother of these twin newborn girls? The way this is written, it's as if dad DAVID BRUCE THATCHER found these babies in a cabbage patch.

I am NOT insinuating that the mother is somehow responsible, please don't misunderstand. The fact that no arrest of the mother is reported makes me think that she is not a suspect.

But how can we pretend she never existed? As if there was not a mother who gave birth to these precious girls before Daddy started abusing them almost immediately? Is the mother alive, dead? "Disappeared"? Did Daddy have full custody? What?

And why do we accept such sloppy reporting at face value?


Posted at 06:09 PM ET, 09/17/2012

The Washington Post

Father charged in death of infant
By Justin Jouvenal

The father of a Fairfax City infant who died in June has been charged with child abuse against the dead girl and her injured twin sister, police and court documents say.

David Bruce Thatcher, Jr., 21, told police in a statement that he injured Thalia and Myana Thatcher several times following their birth at the end of April, according to a police affidavit filed in court to support a search warrant application.

Thalia Thatcher died on June 7 and an autopsy revealed blunt force trauma injuries to the back of her head, according to the warrants.

Thatcher was charged with two counts of child abuse on June 11, but the investigation is ongoing and additional charges could be filed, Fairfax County police said.

A detective filed the search warrants in Fairfax County court to obtain medical records from a Fairfax City pediatric practice, where both girls were treated.

Police declined to release additional details about the case, since the probe is not yet complete.