NJ - Erik Sturgis, 5, home alone, dies in fire, Sayreville, 4 March 2006

Discussion in 'Crimes-Spotlight on Children' started by Marie, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. Marie

    Marie Daughter, if you don't remember us...who will?

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    Boy, 5, killed in fire while alone at home
    Principal recalls Erik Sturgis as 'fun-loving, typical kindergartner'
    A 5-year-old boy died in a fire at his Sayreville home Saturday after his father went to work and left him home alone.
    [font=Arial,sans-serif][size=-1]His mother, Christina, was murdered in 2001.
    [/size][/font]The boy's short life was marked by tragedy early on. His mother, Christina, was killed in a murder-suicide in Mansfield, Warren County, in 2001, just months after she and Kevin divorced, according to the Star Ledger. Her boyfriend, James Hoehman, reportedly shot Christina, who was 22, and then killed himself.
     
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  3. fran

    fran Former Member

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    I hope they don't bring charges against the father for leaving him home alone. It seems he tried to keep babysitters. It's just hard at night. He probably never dreamed the house would catch on fire. He's going to be tortured for the rest of his life over his son's death.

    This is very sad.
    Prayers and blessings to his family and friends.
    Poor little guy.

    JMHO
    fran
     
  4. IdahoMom

    IdahoMom Former Member

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    This is just too sad to even comment on. Poor little guy! :(
     
  5. GreenEyedGirl

    GreenEyedGirl New Member

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    I agree. This is just so sad. Prayers to the family.:(
     
  6. Marie

    Marie Daughter, if you don't remember us...who will?

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    Dad faces arrest in death of son in Sayreville fire

    Authorities say boy, 5, got hold of lighter
    The stunning disclosure came as authorities announced plans to arrest Kevin Sturgis, 31, of Sayreville, on Monday on a charge of endangering the welfare of his son, Erik Sturgis, who died last Saturday of smoke and soot inhalation, prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said.

    [font=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]CRIMINAL PROBE CONTINUES[/font] Sayreville fire started in couch
    Stamatis Bratsano, chief of the Sayreville Fire Department, said flames were roaring out of a side window on the first floor when he arrived within five minutes of the call. After trying to kick in the door, firefighters resorted to an ax, he said.

    "That door wouldn't budge," he said. "That dead bolt must have been set."

    Sex case kept little fire victim from a safe haven DYFS decreed accused grandfather, an ex-Woodbridge cop, could no longer care for Erik
    State officials said he could no longer go to his grandparents' house to be baby-sat because his step-grandfather, former Woodbridge police officer Douglas Karlson, 46, was accused of taking lewd photos of a 15-year-old girl and sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy. Karlson denied the allegations and while a DYFS investigation determined Erik was not involved, it concluded Karlson was an inappropriate caretaker for the boy.

    Blogger News
    "If Only..."
    This past Saturday, Sturgis had agreed to work an extra shift, filling in for a friend. Unable to find a sitter, he left Erik home alone, arriving at work at 7:00 a.m.
    When Erik was four years old, the Division of Youth and Family Services became involved with Erik and his father when it was determined that Erik was being cared for by an "inappropriate" baby sitter. DYFS officials worked with Erik's dad to find a new baby sitter and the case was closed in July. According to friends and neighbors, Sturgis was still having a hard time keeping a babysitter for his now 5-year old son.
     
  7. Marie

    Marie Daughter, if you don't remember us...who will?

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    It seems as if little Erik wasn't left at home alone during the NIGHT - it was for and 8 hour morning shift. I just can't imagine how Dad expected the 5yo to care for himself that long. How very very sad. And the lighter that started the fire was one of those long 'safety' ones - we have a couple for our fireplaces & camping.
     
  8. Valinda

    Valinda "Each of us is different...expect it, respect it,

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    I'm sorry but I feel the father should be held accountable and charged with at least child endangerment. I have a five year old and there's no way I'd ever leave him alone under any circumstance. I'd much rather risk losing my job, than the life of my child. If that isn't child endangerment then what is?
     
  9. mic730

    mic730 Former Member

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    This child in 5 years lost his mother to domestic violence, his grandfather is possbily a sexual predator of teens and now Erik is dead from a house fire after being left alone. This is tragic on so many different levels.
     
  10. IdahoMom

    IdahoMom Former Member

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    [​IMG]
    Erik's father
    [​IMG]

    Erik
     
  11. michelle

    michelle Joy comes in the Morning

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    He should have never been left alone. I have a 5 year old too and its terrible. I would never leave him home, My Lord I would be scared to see what would happen within the first 5 minutes!
     
  12. Details

    Details Former Member

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    One of those cases where money really is just so important - if the father had a better job he wouldn't have had to work, or could pay for babysitting other than the grandfather. But he was caught - he needed the job, needed the work, and took a risk. Unfortunately, criminal charges are appropriate - that was way too young to leave the kid alone, but I'll bet he'd done it many times before, for gradually increasing periods of time - just out of necessity.

    Let's just say, you don't want to know what my single mom sometimes had to do for us when we were young and money was incredibly tight (4 very young kids, divorced SAHM in her first job, no family in town). It's a hard place to be in, I'm sure it happens a lot, but we hear about it when there is a tragedy.
     
  13. mssheila

    mssheila New Member

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    My kids are 6 and 7 now and there is no possibility that I would even leave them home to run up to the store (2 blocks away). Not just for the obvious safety reasons- they are simply not old enough to be alone for any period of time... and lord knows one would probably make the mess of their lives, or try to kill his sibling.. :confused: I can't imagine how horrible the dad must feel, but I have to say... He took the chance, and he, as a parent, knows the risks of leaving a child of 5 years home alone.
     
  14. 2beautifulboys

    2beautifulboys New Member

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    Seems to me the money was worth more than the child. A 5 year old left home along, never, no way, no how for any reason. For pete's sake, take the child to work with you if you have to. Bad decision making will get you everytime...
     
  15. Details

    Details Former Member

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    Unable to make the rent, kicked out on the street, no medical insurance, no regular doctor, living in shelters is also a real danger to a 5 year old, and kills a lot of them (especially the no medical insurance). The money or being sure your kid is OK isn't a straight, simple decision always.

    I don't know where their finances were, but there's a point where not enough money does endanger your child's life.
     
  16. bugs

    bugs Former Member

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    I feel sorry for this father. I truly believe he was trying. From all that I read it seems he hit a brick wall every way he turned. He will forever live with this guilt and to me that is more than enough punishment.
     
  17. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    Sorry darlin. Can't disagree with you more. I'm not saying dad need to be in jail necessarily, but they can't just NOT do something about this.
     
  18. 2beautifulboys

    2beautifulboys New Member

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    Sorry to disagree with you Details but any parent worth their weight would go to the ends of the earth to provide for their children to ensure that they have food, clothing and shelter, there are alot of places that provide help and the respectable ones would welcome a dad and a child together. Sorry but no job is worth my child's life, if I had to go to the food pantry everyday to get food I would do it with my child, I would never make the trade off between going to work and leaving my child all alone to get money to buy the food. I would take the free food and my child alive, versus working a job that endangered my child's life. Guilt or no guilt, this was an extremely bad decision that had dire consequences.

    Life is hard no doubt especially if you are not loaded, however that doesn't release a parent from their primary responsibility, the safety and security of their child.
     
  19. cathieq

    cathieq New Member

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    I've always felt that employ"ers" should provide emergency daycare for their employees. Say your employer asked you to stay overtime or work a different shift...in order to benefit both the employer and the employee, a daycare could be set up on site. It doesn't have to be an everyday thing...just for emergencies. Colleges do it...why can't the working world do it? College students need practical experience for education...so they could earn credit hours for working there. Money could be deducted from the employee's paycheck...who loses?
     
  20. Boilly

    Boilly New Member

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    My guess is the insurance for work-site child care would be unreasonable for most companies. It would have to be 24-hours to benefit late and overnight shifts and schedule changes. You'd have to have on-call someone for that service? Most parents have other resources when they have a schedule change - call in sick, have parents/friends/neighbors help out. We have several 24-hours daycares in my city and we are not even that big.
     
  21. Details

    Details Former Member

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    Yeah, they do need to do something. Especially since it was daylight hours - kid was too young.

    But I can allow some mitigating circumstances for between a rock and a hard place. Dad was obviously trying hard and fighting to keep a good life for his son. And made a horrible misjudgement.
     

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