From the Daily Mail:
Sarah still chokes up when she recalls the last moment she saw Lauren as she turned to go to work.
The mom says: ‘I remember looking back and seeing her. She’s just looking at me with desperation and her eyes said it all: “Mommy don’t leave”.
‘I said, “I love you”. She could barely speak.’
Sarah admits she had no idea of the danger her child was in – just that she was anxious about spending time with Brown.
When she called the school to check on her daughter the teachers said Lauren was so petrified she tried to run away a couple of times and had even asked other parents to take her home with them.
‘I had such a bad feeling,’ says Sarah, who was so upset she decided to defy the court-ordered visitation and get Lauren before Brown arrived.
She spoke to her daughter, briefly, on the phone, before leaving the office. Sarah says the child was ‘whimpering.’
It was the last time she ever spoke to her daughter. Tragically she had no chance of making it to the school on time.
Brown had arrived while the mum was still on the phone with Lauren’s teachers, who had to hand the little girl over to her father. (No authority given to school to intervene in what had escalated into an emotionally charged situation where the child is terrified of the other parent).
Hours later a homicide detective would tell her the four-year-old was dead, after having fallen from a 120ft cliff in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Shockingly Sarah says Brown didn’t even call to tell her himself that their child had died.
Instead, she was waiting at home for him to drop Lauren off at 7pm, as planned. Forty-five minutes after Brown still hadn’t arrived, the worried mom and her husband, Greg Marer decided to drive to the airport baggage handler’s home.
It was while they were en route – frantically calling the police – that an officer told them to get off the highway and wait at the nearest station, where she was told the horrifying news.
‘I was in complete disbelief,’ Sarah says. ‘I thought she [the homicide detective] was crazy.
‘I thought she had the wrong mother, the wrong child. Anything but what I heard was an actuality – Lauren had died at the cliff.
‘I just remember being hysterical and screaming and the first thing that came out of my mouth, unbeknownst to me, was, “He did it”.’
At that moment – and for months and years after – all Sarah knew was that her child had died from a fall from the cliff, a beauty spot called Inspiration Point, while she was with her father.
Brown refused to answer her calls or her questions about what happened that afternoon, creating a wall of silence (not normal) that, 15 years later, still remains.
It’s indicative of the frosty, hostile relationship that developed between Sarah and Brown when she told him she was pregnant with his baby two decades ago.
The former flight attendant, who is originally from Essex in the UK, met him in a restaurant in Newport Beach, California, in 1995. They soon started dating.
At first Sarah was charmed by the athletic, tanned surfer. Two months later, however, their romance soured when she found out she was pregnant.
‘I was in shock,’ she says. ‘It wasn’t something I was planning on.’
Neither was Brown, who suggested that Sarah have an abortion, which she promptly refused to do.
‘That’s really where the whole relationship changed,’ she says.
Sarah says Brown became irritable and hostile. They eventually split because he allegedly left threatening messages on her answer phone.
‘I was extremely petrified, because I didn’t know what he was capable of,’ says Sarah, who admits that although Brown was aggressive, he was never physically abusive. (if you are afraid, that is a sign you need to get away from someone whether they’re hit you or not)
When they broke up she focused on life as a single mother.
She was overjoyed by the birth of her daughter in August 1996. But six months later she thought it was in the best interests of her baby to file for child support.
She insists that money was not her motive.
‘For Lauren’s sake I didn’t want her to look back when she was older and say I had shut her dad out because of some issues we had,’ Sarah says.
By the time she received a letter saying Brown wanted a paternity test in 1998, child support was not at the forefront of her mind.
He it was proven that he was the father a court ordered him to pay Sarah $1,000 a month in child support.
‘That figure was way more than I had imagined,’ she says, ‘I knew it would create a lot more animosity.’
Instead, she was shocked when, in December 1999, Brown demanded visitation rights. It’s a decision Sarah believes was financially motivated.
‘It’s common knowledge that if you’re having visitation your child support drops,’ she says. (however the courts fail to acknowledge that many fathers do this in opposition of what is best for the child.)
By then Lauren was three-years-old. To her, ‘dad’ was Greg Marer – the man her mum met in church and married when she was still a baby.
Now she was being told she had two dads – ‘Daddy Greg’ and ‘Papa Cameron.’
It was confusing but Sarah says the initial supervised visits between father and daughter were fine and they were making an effort to get to know each other.
‘I saw the life in her being drained and sucked out. She just had this anxiety.
Things deteriorated, however, when she noted to the court that Brown was making negative remarks about his mother and using bad language in front of Lauren.
In a court document, Sarah stated that his ‘parental skills were not the best.’
‘I was just being honest,’ she says. ‘I wasn’t out to make him look bad.
‘I could see something brewing. I didn’t know quite what it was at that time.’
Sarah says that at the next court hearing, upon reading what she had written, Brown approached her outside and allegedly said, ‘What goes around, comes around.’ The comments terrified her.
In the meantime she noticed her happy little girl becoming more anxious about spending time with Brown.
Lauren was having tantrums and outbursts and telling her mum that she didn’t want to see her father anymore.
But by the fall Brown was having unsupervised visits, including overnight stays. (WHY??? Every action he had taken was not to embrace fatherhood! He may have done all the right steps which were being set out by the agency, but the child was having anxiety…it should have not progressed.)
‘I saw the life in her being drained and sucked out,’ Sarah says. ‘She just had this anxiety.
‘She would say, “Can I run and hide under the bed if he comes?”’
Sarah says she asked her daughter what she did with Brown during their visits but the little girl would just ‘shut down.’
‘Lauren wouldn’t give me any information at all,’ Sarah says. ‘So I didn’t know if he was physically hurting her. I didn’t see any signs. I didn’t know if it was just emotional.’
At her wits end the mum desperately sought help from multiple sources, trying to get to the bottom of what was going on and to see if she could halt the visitations.
‘I knew there was some form of foul play somewhere,’ she says. ‘I reached out to Child Protective Services, contacted countless counsellors and the police, who would say it was a domestic.
‘I did everything physically possible that I could do to try and just put the brakes on, because it was snowballing so fast.’
Ultimately it was a family holiday in England in October 2000 – during which Lauren completely relaxed – that convinced Sarah that the visits with Brown had to stop immediately.
‘From the moment Lauren stepped foot on the plane, it was as though you had a taken a weight off her shoulders,’ the mum says.
‘She suddenly returned to herself. I could see such a night and day difference in her that I knew when I got back I had to do something.’
‘It was my right to ask for child support but if I hadn’t done that I believe Lauren would still be here.
The family returned to California on October 30. By that time Brown was demanding full custody and a hearing was due to take place exactly a month later.
It was under those tense circumstances that Sarah went to see her lawyer on Friday November 3 and begged him to do something to end Lauren’s misery.
‘I got on my knees and I begged him to please stop these visits,’ she says. ‘And he said, “No, hold on. You’ve got until the 30th. Do the right thing. Be the good parent. It will all be OK”.’
Five days later Lauren was dead.
Sarah admits she didn’t think the bitter custody battle would end in such a tragic way, but that didn’t stop her from feeling guilty for filing for child support in the first place.
‘It was my right to ask for child support,’ she says, ‘but if I hadn’t done that I believe Lauren would still be here.
‘I live with that every day. But I know the guilt would kill me inside if I focused on that.’
After a three-year police investigation Brown was arrested in November 2003. He insisted that Lauren’s death was not his fault.
‘His statements were that it was an accident,’ Sarah says. ‘It was her fault.
‘She was running too close to the edge and he looked away.
‘She’d slipped and fallen. He heard her say, “Ah”.
See full article here.
How many child deaths are undiscerning family courts responsible for?
Above you will see I have underlined all the red flags commonly agreed to be signs of abuse and which someone in a position of authority should have recognized.
Why does our society accept turning a blind eye to emotional, psychological, and financial abuse.
14 So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter.
15Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him.