A man who beat his wife and sexually abused his daughter when she was just 3 years old has their information after his parole officer shared it with him.
The mother, who we’ll call Kelly, and her daughter, Lucy, fled the state and changed their identities when Lucy’s father was convicted and sentenced to prison. Now they’re fearing for their lives because their attacker is on parole and has their information.
Kelly and Lucy, from Troy, believe they need to go into hiding again. The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) is apologizing for sharing their secret information but doing little to help them.
Kelly, Lucy go into hiding
It’s been years since they’ve been back to their neighborhood in Troy or visited their school, Hill Elementary. The memories they made in Michigan are horrific and hard to talk about.
“He was smothering me that night, whispered in my ear, ‘if I could kill you and get away with it, I would kill you,’” Kelly said.
Kelly, 49, and Lucy, 16, have been on the run for years.
“I want someone to fix it, I want someone to help us. Please help us because now we’re not safe, we’re exposed,” Kelly said.
Lucy’s father was convicted of having sexually abusive recordings of Lucy when she was 3 years old on his computer. Her mother was relieved when a conviction came down and he was sent to prison.
They packed up, moved away, and changed their names so that when he was released, he wouldn’t be able to find them.
“Saying goodbye to the old life and living a very different life,” Kelly said. “It was a very difficult for her, it was hard for me. I had no resources.”
Lucy’s father served time in prison and after he was paroled. Kelly grew worried and left a message for his parole agent.
“I wanted to connect with her and let her know how scared we are of him,” Kelly said. “She relays the details of my message and she asked him do you know so and so she reveals my name and she gives him my phone number.”
Kelly found her location had been exposed via voicemail.
Michigan Department of Corrections
Local 4 Investigator Karen Drew went to the MDOC office in Lansing.
“She followed the system, she followed the rules, the system put her in danger,” Drew said.
“We do thousands of interactions with victims every year. This was one incident, one mistake, and that person was held to account,” MDOC spokesperson Chris Gautz said.
“The agent apologized and then she called back the parolee immediately and said you need to lose that number,” Gautz said.
“The question is accountability here,” Drew said. “If you made the mistake, you should pay to have her relocate and change her identity.”
“We don’t have the authority to expend funds on individuals who aren’t under state supervision,” Guatz said.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald tries to help
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald is trying to help Kelly and Lucy.
“It’s worst-case scenario and just a failure. I mean, there’s just no excuse for it. We make promises to victims. We assure them that we’re going to keep them safe. In this instance it didn’t happen,” McDonald said.
“He’s certainly on everyone’ radar and we would not hesitate to charge him if he makes any future crimes or threats against anyone, including his daughter,” Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney David Williams said.
Kelly is frustrated, living in fear
For now, Kelly is frustrated and living in fear.
“We did everything we could to keep us safe. We started this whole life, this new life,” Kelly said. “And here you handed him everything about us and to say, ‘well, we don’t have the resources for us as victims to me is irresponsible.”
Kelly changed her number immediately and is now trying to find funds to move and change their identity again. She simply does not have the resources.
The Victim’s Unit at the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office will be able to help her with $10,000 -- not nearly enough to start a whole new life. And then there’s the mental toll.
Lucy is now a teenager and doesn’t want to leave the life she rebuilt.
Since MDOC released their information, a car with tinted windows was spotted in their new neighborhood out of state.
Police were called. While Lucy’s father has not broken his GPS tether, Kelly and Lucy fear that there could be other family members out to intimidate and frighten them.