Speaking of "cultural" child care, here's a local story from my neck of the woods that y'all probably haven't heard about in the press. I know that, had I not picked up a local paper, I wouldn't have known about it—and this happened less than a mile from my house!
From the Springfield Connection:
Baby-Sitter's Husband Convicted of MurderChild killer.
May 10, 2007
Myles Simon never got to open the toys his father bought for him last fall. Myles was murdered by his baby-sitter's husband, Mohammad Aukif Ahmad, on Sept. 12, 2006. Myles, of Alexandria, was just 21-months- old. "We're never going to recover, we're never going to recover from losing our son," Myles' mother, Michelle Leete, testified last week in Fairfax County Circuit Court.
A Fairfax jury convicted Ahmad, 25, of Springfield, of second-degree murder [Ed.: Why not FIRST degree???] Wednesday, May 3, following a three-day trial. The next day, the jury took less than 15 minutes to recommend that Ahmad serve the maximum sentence, 40 years in prison. "He was such a happy child, I can't imagine what his little self thought to have rage and anger and all those things directed at him," Myles' mother testified. "I just can't think about what he went through, I just can't, I just can't."
AHMAD'S WIFE, Jillian Ahmad, operated an unlicensed day-care center [Ed.: This is not uncommon for our area, where the average cost per semester for "licensed" day care is around $6,000] out of their townhouse on the 6400 block of Silver Ridge Circle in Kingstowne.
The morning of Sept. 12, 2006, Jillian Ahmad left at 9 a.m. for Wal-Mart to get milk, juice and snacks, leaving four children under 4-years-old in the care of her husband.
But Jillian Ahmad first visited a friend before going to Wal-Mart, a friend her husband didn't allow her to call on the phone, she said. Her husband — controlling according to multiple witnesses — called her on her cell phone almost 20 times when she was at her friend's house, testified the friend.
In one of the calls, Mohammad Ahmad told Jillian that Myles was getting tired and sleepy and he was going to put him down to sleep.
During another call he made to her at 10:33 a.m. as she was returning from Wal-Mart, he yelled, "Hurry up and get the hell home," according to Jillian Ahmad's testimony.
When she returned, Myles' eyes were rolled back and his lips were blue, she testified. "I started screaming, 'What happened, what happened?' He said, 'I don't know, he just passed out.'"
She told her husband to call 911.
"He said, 'No, just fix it,'" according to her testimony.
When fire and rescue personnel arrived minutes later, Myles couldn't be saved.
MOHAMMAD AHMAD was arrested at the Westway Motor Inn two miles from LaGuardia International Airport in New York on Sept. 15.