STOCKTON SPRINGS – People in town had mixed reactions about Wednesday’s murder verdict involving a mother who lived in town for six months and was convicted of killing her oldest child.
“I mean I think they got it right. I don’t know what else to say about it,” said one male resident.
“It’s very upsetting to me that any mother would do that to a kid,” a local woman said.
“There is a lot missing in the picture that needs to be revealed sometime,” said a woman who was not from town.
Many folks in town said they believed Sharon Carrillo, who was convicted of murder in the brutal beating death of her 10-year-old daughter, Marissa Kennedy, got what she deserved.
Her husband was convicted earlier this year and was sentenced to 55-years in prison.
Others said they were saddened by the event. One said it put an ugly light on their small town.
Sen. Bill Diamond, a Democrat from Windham, said the horrific story is a call for change.
“It’s frustrating to know so many people saw it was happening with Marissa Kennedy and reported it to the agency and nothing happened,” Diamond said in a phone interview.
He added, “Marissa … could have been saved had the system, the Department of Health and Human Services been equipped to deal with the massive loads they have, caseloads they have.”
Several people in Bangor, where the Carrillos lived before, and in Stockton Springs reported the abuse to police and DHHS. A social worker visited with the Carrillos six times, the last time just 48 hours before the elementary school girl’s death.
At that point, Kennedy, who endured months of daily beatings, was unable to talk or walk and, the social worker reported, she had visible bruises on her face and arms.
“We need to do something this next legislative session to establish some type of oversight for the child protection services that are provided by the Department of Health and Human Services,” Diamond said. “The department and the system really failed these kids who should have been protected, especially given all the notices that various people reported to the department about their concerns about possible abuse.”
Diamond said he has a bill that will create such an oversight utilizing the state’s Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability.