Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Two Important Questions About Serenity's Death

Shannon Dale Gargis
The beating death of 22 month-old Serenity Irene Renfroe begs two questions, one involving DHR. Nothing can change Serenity's fate, but if enough citizens demand DHR reform, perhaps at least one child can be saved.

Question one involves the October 2013 arrest of Serenity's parents, Keith and Hailey Renfroe. Both were released from the Marion County Jail on bond; Keith's bail was 35,500.00 and Hailey's was 32,500.00 for a whopping total of 68K. The question is who bailed them out? Whether it was by bondsman or property bond, someone cared enough to make sure they were released from jail. Why didn't these same people care enough about their child to investigate her situation? We don't know how long Keith and Hailey had been separated or if Hailey allowed any of Keith's family access to the child, but surely a suspicious family member would have told DHR when Hailey's new lover moved in. Wouldn't they?

Question two involves DHR itself. Hailey would have been two months pregnant at the time of her arrest in 2013. Did DHR know? A TimesDaily article has stated Hailey's arrest for child abuse stemmed from her pregnancy and not from the two children who lived in the home with her at the time of the arrest. We don't know which is correct, but it's quite possible that Hailey did tell authorities she was pregnant in order to gain special considerations in jail. That's when DHR would have stepped in.

Since Hailey's Marion County legal charges have not yet been adjudicated, DHR was certainly still least on paper. Were social workers aware that she had moved in a new lover? Had they visited in the two months Shannon Dale Gargis had lived with Hailey? Why had neighbors, friends, or relatives not told DHR of any suspicious activity at the home. These people either saw a bruised toddler or they were aware of one who was suddenly being hidden away.

Yet no one came to Serenity's aid. She died virtually alone while her mother worked a shift at McDonald's. It's a sad epitaph, but perhaps still much better than what she may have endured if she had grown up in such a home.


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  1. I have a friend who knows these people and according to them she moved and wouldn't tell them where she and the baby were. They said that the baby had been sick and some of the bruises were from the mother trying to make her stop crying from feeling bad. It was also said that the baby's doctor had contacted DHR but she gave them an old address.

  2. DHR in Marion and Winston county is a JOKE!! Anyone with half a brain could do a better job than the people that work at those two offices. They don't do anything, even if family and neighbours call them.