Thursday, February 16, 2017

World Upside Down

I have started this blog about ten different times. I know what I want to say, I just can't unscramble my thoughts enough to put them down coherently for everyone else to understand.

As you all know, my nephew John died from a traumatic head injury he sustained while in the care of a babysitter, Nora Boles. By now most of you know the manner in which he received those injuries. If not, I will go into that shortly. A lot of people have asked us over and over how could we be so patient, when this happened months ago?

We went to see John on Valentine's Day...I think he wanted
in on the picture!
Trust me, we are well aware of when John passed, and how quickly it went by. It seems like it took a long while, but to us, its been an awful blink of very over-cried and tired eyes. And all the same it feels like it has been an eternity since we got our very last cuddle with John. It has been 163 excruciating days. I could tell you to the minute how long since his little heart permanently stopped beating.

Trust me, you will never know how difficult it has been waiting to know what really happened that day, or the amount of self-restraint and patience we've all endured.

I will start on September 6th 2016.

When John died, Nora told detectives, and Angela that John's head injury was an accident. Angela believed with her heart it was an accident. I was skeptical from the start, but I am more critical and cynical than Angela. She has the heart, I have the attitude, and Virginia has the brains. Babies don't get head injuries like his on accident. But out of respect for Angela, and due process, we waited.

We didn't release her name to the media or public because, at that time, we thought she was innocent. We all know how the world will judge and destroy before they have the facts, and we didn't want this to happen to someone that wasn't guilty.

Jump to October 31st 2016...

This is the day that the detectives informed us John's death was not an accident. We knew for three and a half months that this evil monster threw our baby across the room in anger before she was arrested. We still waited patiently, quietly.


Because we were doing our part to make sure that the detectives and state had everything they needed to get her. And they did their jobs, and they did them beyond what we expected. We sat idle in quiet anxious wait, to learn whether or not the woman responsible for John's murder would be arrested. We waited to see if we would get justice for our baby.

February 2, 2017

"21 YEAR OLD OCALA WOMAN CHARGED WITH FIRST DEGREE MURDER IN THE DEATH OF INFANT On Thursday, February 2, 2017, Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Major Crimes detectives arrested Nora Boles (DOB: 06/06/1995) on a Marion County bench warrant for First Degree Murder in the death of 11 month old infant John William Smith (DOB: 09/14/2015). 

On September 5, 2016, the infant’s mother dropped the infant off with Boles, who was her babysitter, on her way to work. She received communication from Boles at approximately 4:00 p.m. that afternoon indicating infant Smith would not wake up and was only partially responsive. The mother took her child to Munroe Regional Medical Center (MRMC) for treatment. Staff at MRMC alerted law enforcement that due to the severity of the infant's head injury, the probability of abuse was high. Boles’ statements to law enforcement changed several times during the investigation. The infant was transported to UF Health Shands Hospital and pronounced deceased on September 6, 2016. Boles later made admissions that she had become frustrated with the child and thrown him across the room, causing the fatal head injury.

This case was reviewed by a Grand Jury, who issued a true bill to indict Boles for First Degree Murder. Boles is currently being held in the Marion County Jail with no bond."  - Courtesy MCSO 

And we have. She has not been convicted yet, but she is behind bars. As far as Nora is concerned...she can rot in a cell for the rest of her life. She deserves nothing less, but a whole lot worse in my opinion.

The day after news broke of her arrest, we were hit with a media storm. Reporters from all major agencies called. We hosted interview after interview. It was exhausting mentally and physically, having to relive all the bad moments over and over. Mostly we wanted to share with the world who John was. He wasn't here long, but dammit, losing him broke everyone in this family. He deserved to be seen and shared, not Nora.

My biggest fear is that the world loses out on who John was, to what happened to him. That they will see a victim, which he truly is, but he was also so much more. He wasn't here nearly long enough, but he impacted our family immensely. He was the good thing that always happened on a bad day. He was your smile when all you felt like doing was crying. He was a giggle during the hard times. And that child was the absolute definition of pure love, and heart to us all.

It has been a nightmare and a relief all in one, now that she has been arrested. We are relieved to know that she is going to be held accountable for his death, but it is so hard to find any joy in the moment. I mean honestly, what do we have to celebrate? Our family is destroyed, and our baby is still gone.

One thing I mentioned over and over to the media, was that we wanted John remembered and we wanted the world to acknowledge the work that went into solving his murder. Detective Zachary Hughes was the lead in the investigation for John's death, and as much of a pain in his butt as I have been, I can never truly thank him or his partners for everything they've done. Not only for us, but for John.

He reassured us from the start that he would get to the bottom of this, and would make sure there was justice if seen fit. And he did just that. And every time there was bad news, or any time there was a break in the case, he was there. He has been on John's side from the start, and the level of respect I have for him is indescribable. He's been there with our family from the start. He has held Angela's hand, cried with her and for John, and then had to go home to face his own family.

I know the level of guilt that goes with going home to your babies, when someone else doesn't get to.

It takes truly special and amazing people to do what they do, and it mattered to me to share that with the world.

Everyone tells us the hard part is coming, and I have this to say...

Nothing will ever be harder than the moment I watched my sister say goodbye to her baby.

Court, Trials, ...nothing will ever compare to that dead heart, empty soul feeling I get every time I think back to that moment. We will be present every step of the way for John, you better believe it.

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