"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."--Albert Einstein
2-year-old Riley Sawyers was savagely and repeatedly beaten and tortured until she was dead. The punishment was inflicted on her by her alleged mother--the one person a defenseless toddler turns to for protection and comfort.
Kimberly Dawn Trenor and her accomplice/boyfriend/husband completed their vile deed and then stashed the little girl's body in a storage shed. After many days, they took a trip to buy their Wal-Mart version of Riley's casket: a cooler commonly used for picnics.
At that moment, Trenor's mothering instinct apparently asserted itself: Riley Sawyer's body was found wrapped in plastic and laid in her temporary resting place. It was set adrift in Galveston Bay, to be found on a sandbar by a fisherman.
It's a mystery why they treated Riley's body more gently after she was dead than when she was living through what must have been her last confused, hurting, terror-filled moments.
Her mother described to police how she "beat the child with leather belts and held her head under water in the bathtub. She said Zeigler picked the girl up by her hair and also threw her across the room, slamming her head into the tile floor."
The charges currently against the pair consist of tampering with evidence and injuring the child. What additional charges they face is speculation at this moment.
The final scene described by Trenor is one where acts were committed that were devoid of any human emotion.
That would seem to rule out various "done in haste" or "in the heat of the moment" defenses. What the charges will be and what kind of defense will be offered, if any, is again speculation.
Zigler reportedly tried to end his life last week as the police closed in, leaving behind a note that "his wife was not responsible". He was less successful at ending his own life than that of his companion's 2-year-old.
Was that an attempt at achieving a nobility in death that was missing in his life?
The questions heard most often asked by readers who emailed or commented at this point: How could a mother do this to her baby? Why did it have to be so violent? Why not give the child to someone who loved her?
It's hard to say why little Riley death was so gruesome.
If the child was a bother, why not contact the grandmother in Ohio or the father?
Both made repeated efforts to contact Kimberly Dawn Trenor.
There has been talk of a custody struggle between the Kimberly Dawn Trenor and Riley's father.
The final sadistic acts committed on the person of Riley Sawyers are easier to understand if Riley isn't viewed as a human being; as a little, defenseless child.
Those acts are a little easier to understand if one sees her two-year-old daughter, Riley Sawyers, not as most would view her--a helpless toddler, crying out in fear and panic at her final treatment--but as Kimberly Dawn Trenor apparently saw her.
Not as a child, but as a pawn.
Mother's Grim Tale of Abuse and Death
Toddler Tortured: Little Riley Never Had a Chance
Death by 1000 Papercuts Front Page.