Canary Stories 12 – A Voice For Riley
By Wendy Greene
11-year-old Riley was shot and killed by her stepfather.
Seneca, SC (ONN) It is a well known fact, that there are two sides to every story. I think we can all agree with this. I write the Canary Stories for several different reasons, most importantly, to give a voice to the voiceless. This Canary Story is being told from the point of view of a heartsick grandmother, Annie Hambrick, from Oconee County, South Carolina. I met Annie on the air while co-hosting for Tim Skomo on Parental Revolution.
Tim briefly described to me who our special guest was a few minutes before we went live on the air. When Annie told her story, I was compelled to write it due to the fact that the mainstream media did not come anywhere close to shedding light on some grisly pieces of information. It more than likely would warrant a murder investigation on Annie’s daughter, Kathy.
I want to make it clear that these are allegations that have not been substantiated. But I think they should be heard, taken seriously, and investigated. As a reader, I think you will be inclined to agree with me on this. You can listen to Annie’s on-air interview here:
Annie’s granddaughter Riley reached out to her asking her to help her get out of the abusive home she was living in with her mother and stepfather. Alarmed by what Riley expressed to her, Annie decided to take action to protect Riley. In late 2010, Annie filed a custody action against her daughter, Kathy. An important detail to this case is the fact that Annie’s ex-husband, father of Kathy, was the State Police Chief.
After Annie had taken this action against her own daughter, Annie was accused of being vindictive and over-protective, and that Riley was not in harms’ way, and there was no need for concern. Several hearings took place and the judge appointed Annie a Guardian Ad Litem attorney. Annie paid a woman $175.00 an hour for help with the custody action. Over a period of two years, Annie made repeated attempts to keep in contact with the GAL attorney by leaving voicemails and texts for her explaining the seriousness of what was going on in that home.
These all went unanswered. Annie met with her once in the GAL’s office and the GAL left a note in Annie’s door once during this time period. Annie was not getting any support at all from her ex-husband. In fact, she was met with heavy opposition. He obviously had connections in order to hinder Annie’s efforts to protect Riley. Out of warranted concern, Annie hired a Private Investigator to keep an eye on her daughter Kathy and her son-in-law in an attempt to gain evidence to convince the court that Riley was in fact in danger and in a very abusive situation.
Annie had high hopes that she could gain custody of Riley in order to protect her from harm. The Private Investigator uncovered a lot of things that should not have been happening in a safe and healthy home for a young child. Unbeknownst to Annie and her attorney, the stepfather was allowed a private and sealed adoption of Riley. Even after Annie’s attorney presented in court to the judge all of the disconcerting issues in Riley’s home with her mother and her stepfather, the judge continued to leave Riley there.
On July 7th, 2012 Annie’s concerns that had fallen on deaf ears for a period of two years became a reality. Early that day a domestic violence altercation took place in Riley’s home. It was a fist fight between her mother and her stepfather. No one called the police. Then, three hours later Annie received a phone call informing her that her 11-year-old granddaughter, Riley, had been shot four times – twice in the head and once in each of her hands. Kathy was shot a total of ten times in non-fatal areas of her body and survived. Riley’s stepfather apparently shot himself, and he and Riley did not survive.
This was a gruesome scene as you can imagine, including 26 bullet holes in the walls. Annie quickly went down to the Sheriff’s office to hand over all the evidence of the child abuse Riley had been forced to endure due to a failed legal system. To add insult to injury, Annie’s daughter Kathy had grown up with and was friends with all involved, including the media, whom were investigating this horrific crime.
Annie received a copy of her granddaughter’s autopsy report and it showed that Riley was covered in horrific bruises from the waist down. This was proof that Riley was in fact being abused by her mother and her stepfather. Due to the connections that Annie’s daughter and ex-husband have in the community, Annie feels that her daughter has gotten away with murder. Annie currently lives in a different area than the crime occurred because she felt forced to leave Oconee County. Annie feels threatened and scared that they will set her up for things in retaliation for being verbal about what happened to Riley. Annie stated to me that “she is still scared.” She also added, “We have to get the corruption out of our legal system for women and children.” You can go here to this link to see the work Annie has been doing for Riley:
This is not the whole story – the plot actually thickens. Kathy was cheating on her husband and was pregnant with her lover’s child when her husband and daughter were shot to death. Amazingly, none of her gunshot wounds were fatal nor penetrated her pregnant belly. Mainstream media painted her as the victim of domestic violence. She even collected life insurance money from her husband and her daughter. Kathy was less than truthful about this fact, while collecting even more money from all over the place as she is playing the helpless victim.
Kathy currently lives with her new husband, the father of her now 4-year-old son. Her new husband does not work, but Kathy does have a job in a medical office where she has access to people’s medical records, including Annie’s. This is a terrifying thought due to the fact that Annie feels Kathy should not be allowed near anyone’s medical records due to what happened. She could easily destroy more innocent lives.
Kathy and her new husband live in a very lavish home and drive lavish vehicles living on the money that they collect off of people’s kindness and charity, as well as the life insurance. It is also rumored that they do nothing but smoke marijuana all day. Annie, on the other hand, has used all of her money to fund and open a domestic violence shelter for women and children in her local area called ‘Safe Harbor’ in Seneca, South Carolina.
Annie and her friends supporting her in her efforts to obtain justice for her granddaughter Riley, myself included, feel that this case should be re-opened and her mother Kathy should be investigated for a double murder for profit. We may be wrong, but in our opinion it is worth looking into. It is also noteworthy to add that the same Sheriff, solicitor, and judge are in the same positions they were four years ago when this tragedy happened. The GAL was a lawyer then and is now a part time judge. It is bone chilling to think that the GAL whom failed Riley is now a judge.
It is a gross injustice that is happening in our family law courtrooms today. Innocent families are brutally and maliciously torn apart, while abusive, guilty people go free. All that I have been able to come up with in order to explain this disconcerting phenomenon is that an unlawful court will always side with the unlawful. This must change. Our children are being abused and murdered for profit.
Follow and support Annie’s campaign for justice for Riley on their Facebook page.
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Wendy Greene is a fourth generation Human and Civil Rights activist, writer/advocate for the victims of autism and homelessness, and author of the up-and-coming book ‘Justice’. The Canary Stories are individual true accounts documenting the corruption and fraud of Child Protective Services and similar agencies, sent from around the world by parents requesting that their voices be heard. The ongoing reports are named The Canary Stories after the life-saving canaries that protected the coal mines. Today, The Canary Stories are also sounding the warning in an attempt to save children, families and even lives. Readers can email Wendy at [email protected].