Vet's love for kids prompts reward fund in baby's death

April 01, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - Roy Carter Jr. is a veteran who saw his share of horrors during the Korean War. He remembers watching diaper-clad children run behind trucks in below-zero temperatures, begging for food.

Carter, 70, said his compassion for children prompted him to create a reward fund for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the death of an infant boy whose body was found on the banks of the Shenandoah River. Carter made a $3,000 donation.

The body of the infant, named Baby Christian by investigators with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, was found on March 21, wrapped in sheets and placed inside two garbage bags. Five-pound weights were found in the bag, leading investigators to believe someone was trying to throw the bag into the river.


Jefferson County Sheriff Ed Boober said the money could entice someone with information to come forward. Although many people have called offering tips and wanting to help, he said others who have information might not be so forthcoming.

"Unfortunately, sometimes it takes something above and beyond just the death of an infant to make people come forward," Boober said.

Boober had Carter's check, on the subject line of which Carter had written "Baby Christ."

"I was abused and beat on when I was a child," Carter said.

He joined the military when he was 15 and at 17 he saw combat in Korea, Carter said.

"It seems like people just want to beat the babies," he said.

People blame psychological conditions or claim they did not know what they were doing, but Carter said he doesn't believe it.

Carter, a widower who is the father of five grown children, said he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I love people and I love children and I love my animals," said Carter, who added that he considers animals to be simply children with fur coats.

"I want to share (my income) with the sheriff's department and law enforcement officers to bring this to justice," he said. "You see a lot in war, but nothing like this."

The reward money will be placed in a bank account. Anyone who wishes to donate can do so at the Berkeley County or Jefferson County sheriff's department offices, Boober said.

"I'd like for my comrades, if they have a dollar or two laying around, to give it to this reward," Carter said.

The infant will be buried Saturday in a plot donated by Edge Hill Cemetery in Charles Town, W.Va. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. at Harpers Ferry Middle School. Members of the sheriff's department will serve as pallbearers.

The funeral service and related items were donated by various businesses, Boober said.

Eackles-Spencer Funeral Home is handling the arrangements and donated the vault/casket combination, said Renee Spencer, part owner of the funeral home.

Sheetz Florist of Charles Town donated the flower arrangement that will be placed over the casket, and Jefferson County Monument Sales donated the headstone, Spencer said.

The Herald-Mail Articles