Most scams, such as sub-prime mortgages and email scams, victimize adults. But custody scams victimize children. When government fails to protect children it throws open the doors to private contractors—lawyers and clinicians—who enrich themselves at the expense of children. (More about this child and the mother who tried to protect her appears below.)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Peoria woman later killed in apparent murder-suicide
by Dustin Gardiner - Oct. 20, 2009 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
A Peoria mother whose body was found Friday had recently tried to leave Arizona after receiving threats from her apparent slayer, but a judge denied her request, court records show.
Two weeks before she was killed, Dawn Axsom pleaded with Judge Jose Padilla of Maricopa County Superior Court to let her leave Arizona with her son because she feared Gabriel Schwartz, the toddler's father, would harm her or their boy.
Padilla denied the 26-year-old's request and ordered the pair to attend parental counseling together.
Axsom's body was found in her Peoria residence Friday. Police also found the bodies of Schwartz, 28, and Linda Braden, 56, Axsom's mother.
Schwartz is suspected of shooting and killing both women before turning the gun on himself, Peoria police spokesman Mike Tellef said Monday.
Tellef said the violence likely began in the downstairs kitchen, where Schwartz shot Braden. Then, Schwartz went upstairs, shooting Axsom in the master bathroom and killing himself in a bedroom.
Police discovered the grisly scene at about 10 a.m. Friday after Axsom didn't show up for work and a friend and the friend's mother went to the home, located in the 7400 block of West Sierra Street, to check on her.
When the friend knocked on the door, she heard Axsom and Schwartz's nearly 2-year-old boy crying upstairs.
The woman called police, who arrived and found the child unharmed inside his crib.
"When the officer took the baby outside, he covered (the child's) eyes so he couldn't see anything," Tellef said, recounting the scene.
Friends and co-workers who gathered outside Axsom's residence Friday said she was having ongoing custody problems with Schwartz and expressed frustration that the court system wouldn't let her leave Arizona when she knew Schwartz might harm her.
Court records show Padilla granted Axsom a protective order against Schwartz four days before the Oct. 6 hearing where he ordered her to attend parental counseling with him and denied her request to relocate to Maryland with the pair's son.
Axsom's son was placed into the custody of state Child Protective Services.
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3 found dead in Peoria home
by Nathan Gonzalez - Oct. 18, 2009 05:38 PM
The Arizona Republic
Peoria police believe three people found dead inside a home Friday morning may be a case of murder-suicide, but are awaiting autopsy results, a spokesman said Sunday afternoon.
Detectives hope the autopsies on Lisa Braden, 56, her daughter Dawn Axsom, 26, and Gabriel Schwartz, 28, will provide answers on how the three died, said Mike Tellef, a police spokesman.
"There are too many unknowns as of yet," Tellef said, noting that the incident looks like a possible murder-suicide. However, he fell short of naming it as such.
Police believe there are no outstanding suspects.
About 10 a.m. Friday, a woman and her mother went to the home on the 7400 block of W. Sierra Street, after one of the victims failed to show for work, police said previously.
When one woman rang the doorbell, she heard Axsom and Schwartz's 2-year-old child crying inside. The woman called police, who arrived and found the child unharmed inside the home.
Police have thus far declined to say how Braden, Axsom and Schwartz died, only that violence was involved and their bodies were found in different areas of the home.
The 2-year-old boy was placed into the custody of Child Protective Services.
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About the mother and child pictured at the top
She is one of countless children in Rhode Island subjected to severe emotional and physical trauma by Family Court when it helps abusive parents to maintain control over their families after divorce. When she turned 18 in 2007, she gave the Parenting Project permission to publish her picture on behalf of all children who have been held hostage by Rhode Island custody scams.
About the Author and the Cause