Good recap of this case from the Denver Post, which I have posted on a couple of times before. Not mentioned here is that "custodial" dad AARON THOMPSON had abducted these children from their mother in Michigan years before, and that she had been unable to locate them.
Cops suspicious from start of Aarone case
Police testify they thought early that there was more to Aarone Thompson's reported runaway.
By Carlos IllescasThe Denver Post
Posted: 08/11/2009 01:00:00 AM MDT
Aarone Thompson was reported missing in '05, but police have said she might have been dead for two years. Her father is on trial.
CENTENNIAL — By the second day of the investigation, police had a pretty good idea the reported disappearance of Aarone Thompson was no ordinary runaway case.
In the first full day of testimony Monday in the trial of Aarone's father, police said that even early in the investigation evidence pointed to foul play, although they still treated it as a missing-child case.
Aaron Thompson faces charges of child abuse resulting in death and abuse of a corpse. He reported Aarone missing on Nov. 14, 2005, after a fight about a cookie, but police believe she was killed two years earlier.
The body of the girl, who would have been 6 years old at the time of her reported disappearance, has never been found.
After searching the girl's home on East Kepner Drive, combing their Aurora neighborhood and talking to family members for more than 14 hours, former Aurora Police Capt. Ricky Bennett testified he had a face-to-face meeting with Thompson in the early hours of Nov. 15.
"I looked him square in the eyes and said, 'If there is anything else . . .' and Mr. Thompson looked away and said, 'No, just help find my child.' "
Bennett later acknowledged that the encounter was a little tense.
Bennett was among several officers to testify in Arapahoe County District Court on Monday.
Most said Thompson appeared calm and subdued in the days after filing the missing-child report while his live-in girlfriend, Shelley Lowe, was angry and used derogatory language against police.
He was cooperative, according to police; she was combative and refused to let police interview the children in the home.
Neighbors were interviewed, but no one reported seeing the girl in some time or perhaps ever. She had not been enrolled in school.
And when a bloodhound was sent over to the home to help in the search, the family could not produce a single piece of clothing that the dog could track, according to testimony.
When Jefferson County Deputy Allen Nelson, who brought the bloodhound in to help in the search, asked Thompson if he had any soiled clothing belonging to Aarone, Thompson said, "I don't have anything like that," Nelson said.
Not a toothbrush, bedsheets or a shoe, he said.
Police also interviewed Lowe's younger brother, who was living with the family, about the last time he had seen Aarone. He gave inconsistent answers, and after two questions Lowe stopped the interrogation.
Both Thompson and Lowe were considered persons of interest in the death, but Lowe died of heart failure about a year before a grand jury indicted Thompson on 60 criminal counts in 2007.
During opening statements on Friday, the defense suggested that Lowe was responsible for Aarone's death, and that Thompson was guilty of trying to cover it up. Thompson also faces child-abuse charges for alleged beatings of other children living in the home.
Also Monday, an alternate juror told the court that she and perhaps other jurors were intimidated by a man who had been spotted in the courtroom on Friday and rode a motorcycle and stared at them after court in a parking lot.
But after talking with the man, District Judge Valeria Spencer learned that he was a student who was trying to get an internship with another judge. The female alternate juror remained on the panel.
The trial is expected to last between four and six weeks.