Father, Girlfriend Charged in Murder of 5-Year-Old
Posted January 3, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST
FAYETTEVILLE — Fayetteville police are investigating the death of a 5-year-old boy, calling it one of the worst cases of child abuse they have ever seen.
Paramedics found Jared Michael Green in full arrest at 3 a.m. Thursday in his Waters Edge Drive home. He was rushed to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead less than 20 minutes later.
Police questioned and arrested the boy's father, Michael Earl Green, 30, and his girlfriend, Alexandra Goehl, 29. The two were charged with first-degree murder and felony child abuse late Thursday morning.
Investigators believe the murder was premeditated. They say they found numerous cuts and bruises on the boy's body.
"Through their experience, looking at the child and listening to what the father and the girlfriend had to say concerning the injuries, they knew something was suspicious about the child's death," says Sgt. James Todd with the Fayetteville Police Department.
Police say that Green and Goehl showed no emotion after officials arrived at the home. The couple said they had disciplined Jared, but police say that it was a definite case of child abuse.
"This is a 5-year-old child who couldn't defend himself," Todd says. "He looked to his mother and father for protection, and he had none."
Last year, Cumberland County had the highest number of substantiated child abuse cases in the state. Dr. Robin Jenkins, Communicare Director, says part of the reason is there is not a lot of funding for prevention programs. If child abuse is suspected in a household, most people do not want to get involved.
"We have to help families know there are other caring resources in their neighborhood, otherwise the only resource you have is 911," he says.
Green is a non-commissioned soldier at Fort Bragg. He is either divorced or separated from Jared's mother, who lives in Washington state.
Investigators spent the day combing the house, looking for duct tape residue. They believe Jared may have been strapped down and beaten.
Police say they found evidence that the victim's 6-year-old brother had also been abused. The boy is now in foster care.