07-13-2009, 02:29 PM #1
NE - Michael Belitz, 12, found strangled in bathtub, Omaha, July 2009
I really, really, really hope it's not that little boy!
Published Monday July 13, 2009
Odor, flies hinted at body in house
By Roseann Moring and Susan Szalewski
Police say it could be up to a week before they can determine the identity of a severely decomposed body found inside a north Omaha home early Sunday.
Angela Manns, 46, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of first-degree murder after police found the body inside her house at 2857 Ida St. in the Minne Lusa area of north Omaha.
Manns has a son, Michael, who recently finished sixth grade at Minne Lusa Elementary School. An Omaha Public Schools spokeswoman said the boy recently changed his last name from Manns to Belitz.
Officer Jacob Bettin, a police spokesman, said Manns lived at the house with a child, but said police could not confirm whether Michael was the victim.
Bettin said police were called to check the well-being of the woman and the child. When they arrived at the house at 11:27 a.m. Sunday, Bettin said, they found the body.
The victim had been dead “for a considerable amount of time,” Bettin said.
Court records indicate that Manns was a defendant in several civil cases involving collection agencies, credit adjusters and the city's housing authority. She declared bankruptcy in 1996 and 2009, according to records.
One neighbor said there had been a strong smell at the home for about two weeks. She said when police opened a window, a swarm of flies came out.
The body remained in the house through late Sunday as police investigated.
07-13-2009, 07:52 PM #2Registered User
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- Jun 2007
07-13-2009, 09:24 PM #3
More details below...looks like it might be the son...Her mug shot is totally whacked out...wonder if she's totally lost it or if she is on drugs...So sad...
OMAHA, Neb. -- Neighbors said the odor and the flies tipped them off that something was wrong inside a house at 28th and Ida streets.
They called police Sunday. Officers arrived to check on the well-being of Angela Manns, who is now in the medical ward of Douglas County Corrections, and her 12-year-old son.
Police found Manns inside with a severely decomposing body.
It may take a week of investigating dental records before the body can be identified. Neighbors have been left with a sickening feeling; they know they haven't seen the boy, Michael Belitz, in almost a month.
Manns, 46, has not been charged, but police said they are holding her on suspicion of first-degree murder.
Her son is still missing. Neighbors have not seen the boy since June 17. They last saw his mom about a week later.
"I haven't seen no activity go on in that house for like a week," said Melissa Mereno. "We haven't seen no cars come in and out of that driveway ... no traffic, nothing."
Another neighbor, who declined to be identified, was furious.
"My blood is boiling … I just can't imagine who would do that," she said.
Neighbor Zach Hodges said Manns was a "nice" neighbor who was always offering favors.
But talk always returns to the child. Neighbors want to know what happened.
Belitz just finished sixth grade at Minne Lusa Elementary School in Omaha. He had been at the school since first grade.
VIDEO: Missing Boy's Principal Speaks Out
Principal Matt Piechota said Belitz was heavily involved in the school and was a safety patrol captain. Belitz was also an active Boy Scout and a member of the school's Read To Succeed program.
"Michael was a great kid," Piechota said.
He said Belitz's mother was supportive of all the boy's activities. Piechota said there was no indication of any problems at home.
He said the boy's father was never a part of Belitz's life, which is why Piechota found it strange that the boy changed his last name in the spring from Manns to his father's last name. Belitz never explained why he changed his last name, Piechota said.
The principal heard about the boy's disappearance on Sunday.
"There's sadness any time we lose a student, a tragic loss, a tragic day for our community here at Minne Lusa," he said.
Belitz's friends and teachers said they fear the worst but are hoping for the best.
Manns also has a daughter who is older than Belitz, according to court records.
For the past 24 hours, detectives and crime lab technicians have been combing the house with cameras, stainers and even six orange buckets for evidence collection.
The scene took a toll on veteran homicide detectives and neighbors alike.
"We called our landlord yesterday and put in our 30-day notice because it's just scary to think that stuff like that can happen across the street," Hodges said.
KETV NewsWatch 7 has learned that Manns has four children. A grown daughter and a son in their 20s were put up for adoption when they were young. The two have never met.
Video: Records Shed Light On Manns' History
A 17-year-old daughter no longer lives in the home on Ida Street.
The oldest daughter told KETV that only the son was living with Manns, and that she doesn't know his fate.
Court records and interviews show that Manns has been enduring mounting financial problems.
She defaulted on her home loan in November, and filed for bankruptcy early this year. Manns' home is now in foreclosure.
Manns worked until 2007 for the University of Nebraska-Omaha as a cashier and administrative assistant.
07-13-2009, 09:37 PM #4
Oh, gee. It is so hard to even imagine someone staying in a home with a decomposing body. When I link that to her-----odd, to say the least-----mug shot, I am thinking we have a momma who is off the charts insane.
Michael, you were born for better than this. God bless you, son. God bless you.
07-13-2009, 09:43 PM #5
I agree...seems like she just lost it---whether it was because of the death or before the death, I guess we'll have to wait and see. It just seems like things like this are happening way too often now.
07-13-2009, 11:18 PM #6
07-17-2009, 06:42 PM #7
He said Michael’s death has been hard to comprehend. More difficult, is learning what the investigation has revealed.
"It appeared that there were attempts to mask or hide the odor. There was quite a bit of kitty litter that was placed over the body and then bags covering the body," Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said.
Nearby, he said, five gallon buckets, which prosecutors believe were among the tools planned to be used to dispose of Michael's body.
"There was a hatchet, boning knife, goggles, that kind of thing that were on the counter there."
More at link: http://www.wowt.com/home/headlines/50969992.html
Sounds like the little boy's relatives tried to get help for him before this all went down and his own mother (the murderer) contacted authorities and said she was afraid she'd hurt her son unless she got help. Yet again, another child is failed by "the system". The father is saying that he got "real, real, real close" with his son the past few years, but how can your son be dead for two weeks, rotting in a bathtub and you not know he was even missing???!!! These people anger me. Hopefully Michael will find peace wherever he is now...
08-26-2009, 05:10 PM #8Registered User
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- Jul 2008
new details about how the mother had called for help...twice. i honestly don't see how when a parent calls an child abuse hotline they get a message machine...and also how that is not an extremely urgent matter for them to look into. they called her back and told her to call someone else!
not that ANY of this excuses what she has done, but this poor boy could have been saved. i'm not one to put the blame on social services many of the times, but this time, they really blew it. IMO
from the article....
"Two months ago, Omaha police found Michael Belitz, 12, dead in the bathtub of his home. His mother, Angela Manns, is charged with first-degree murder in the case.
KETV NewsWatch 7 filed a Freedom of Information Act request to compel the state to release two critical incident reports. Those documents showed Manns called HHS twice in the months before the crime. In both cases she didn’t get the help she needed."
08-26-2009, 05:19 PM #9Registered User
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- Jul 2008
this little guy just breaks my heart...reading about how good and involved he was at school, he was just trying so hard. to me, it always seems like kids coming from abusive/neglectful homes tend to either be really bad and in trouble all the time at school or really good and overachieving. both are ways to try to get attention, to get someone, anyone to acknowledge and approve of them...it is so sad...
08-26-2009, 06:15 PM #10
08-26-2009, 07:16 PM #11
Please don't hit me but I have some compassion for this mother, She looks tormented, she knew she couldn't cope, tried to get help. The system failed her and that dear child and all they can come up with is bland statements about there being "new policies"
08-26-2009, 07:40 PM #12Registered User
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- Jul 2008
08-26-2009, 08:20 PM #13
Sorry, I didn't know about her background. Will read up
10-14-2009, 11:06 AM #14
Update on the case at link. Her lawyer is asking for another psych evaluation because they have found her competent to stand trial...If you watch the video, the father is on there talking about how he feels about the mother....
http://www.ketv.com/news/21285871/detail.html“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?”
*Obviously, everything I type is my opinion and my opinion only. What I type should not be construed as fact. However, I've only been wrong once in my life and that was when I said I was wrong, but I was really right.*
10-14-2009, 01:04 PM #15
this is just horrible. she obviously needed help, which she tried to get twice! if someone says they fear they might hurt thier child you would think social services would step in immediatly to remove the child from the home. than again it doesnt really surprise me. i have seen social services in action first hand in a child abuse case. it took alot of people complaining for them to finally remove the child. its a good thing they did, any longer and the little girl would have died.
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