Adoptive Parents, Baby Sitter Charged In 9-Year-Old’s Death
TheKansasCityChannel.com, Jan. 9, 2003
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A boy slain last week and two of his siblings were routinely bound up at bedtime, according to a court document which also said that evidence related to the child’s death was taken elsewhere and destroyed.
The document filed Wednesday in Missouri’s Jackson County Circuit Court describes the results of searches on both sides of the state line in connection with the Dec. 29 suffocation death of Brian Edgar, 9.
The charges were filed last week in Wyandotte County, Kan., but subsequent investigation led officials to believe Brian’s death actually took place at a home in Overland Park, in neighboring Johnson County, Kan.
On Tuesday, the investigation moved into Missouri with the search of a home in Kansas City. The document filed in court Wednesday dealt with searches in all three counties, and an attached affidavit details what investigators believe happened.
The search warrant documents assert that Neil Edgar, 47, told police he had gagged and bound Brian the night of Dec. 29. Two other Edgar children, ages 12 and 9, told investigators that was not the only time that had happened.
“Every morning after being released from their restraints, Christy Edgar would apply Neosporin to any marks left on the children in order to minimize scarring,” the document says.
Neil Edgar brought Brian’s body to the University of Kansas Medical Center early on the morning of Dec. 30. He was arrested there, after initially telling police he gave Brian sleeping medication the night before and found him unresponsive about 4 a.m.
The court document also says that other children of the Edgars told authorities that their mother and a baby sitter participated in the binding and gagging.
Neil Edgar told police that he, not anyone else, had bound and gagged Brian, the document said. But the younger children told police that all three adults had tied up Brian.
The court document also alleges that Christy Edgar, 46, awakened the Edgars’ two youngest children, 12 and 9, early on the day that her husband took Brian to the hospital and had them clean the house where he died.
Evidence, including tape, socks, a scrub brush and liquid soap, was destroyed, perhaps burned in a fireplace, at the Kansas City, Mo., home of a friend of the Edgars, the document said.
It also said the two youngest children were routinely bound at their residences and the storefront church led by their parents, God’s Creation Outreach Ministry in Kansas City, Kan. Both described “being put in sleeping bags after being bound,” the document said.
It said the parents had a camera installed in the Overland Park house so that, from the master bedroom, they could watch the children in their basement bunk beds.
Police who searched the house in Kansas City, Mo., reported finding evidence that included plastic twist ties, a section of duct tape, a telephone cord and photographs. The Edgars’ 16-year-old son told police that some items had been burned in the fireplace.
Police said that Edgar had eventually told them he had bound Brian’s arms and chest with a belt and gagged him with a sock and duct tape before putting him to bed Dec. 29.
In his first statement to police, Edgar said the boy died at the family home in Kansas City, Kan. At that house police found empty duct tape rolls, socks with duct tape on them and other evidence.
The Edgars’ children said the family had been staying at the Overland Park house when Brian died. A search there found duct tape, masking tape, black plastic ties and ointment, police said, as well as credit cards and financial documents in many names.
The three defendants are in the Wyandotte County jail on bonds of $2 million each. The charges filed against them in that county could be refiled in Johnson County.
Wyandotte County District Attorney Nick Tomasic said Wednesday that evidence showed “it’s pretty clear that the actual homicide happened in Johnson County.” He added, however, that “it’s a good possibility that other abuses occurred in Wyandotte County.”
Residents Watch Investigation Come To Their Neighborhood
Some neighbors say that they never expected the investigation into the death of a 9-year-old Kansas City, Kan., boy would lead to their neighborhood.
On Tuesday, police searched a home in the 8300 block of Wayne in connection with the death of Brian Edgar, 9. Police suspect that items used to kill the boy may have been destroyed in a fireplace at the home.
The owner of the home told KMBC’s Donna Pitman that through a government program, he rented the house to Victor and Chauntel Williams. Court documents reveal that the Edgar’s other children told investigators that several plastic bags were taken to the Williams’ home.
“I spoke to the gentleman and the kids several times. They seemed like decent, normal people,” neighbor Edward Grear said.
Grear and his wife, Linda, live across the street from the Williams.
“They appeared to be a happy family. The kids didn’t give any indication they were being abused or anything like that,” Linda Grear said.
Pitman reported that court papers indicated police found twist ties, a telephone cord and duct tape ashes in the fireplace. Investigators are looking into whether the items played a role in the boy’s death.
Home Security Provider Tips Off Police
Police were tipped-off to the suspected murder site of Brian Edgar by a man who installed security cameras in the family’s Overland Park home.
Bob Ring, with Premiere Security, contacted police on Jan. 3.
“They had no idea about this home in Overland Park,” Ring said.
Ring said he installed the alarm system at the Edgars’ home in the 157th block of Birch Street, as well as at other addresses for the Edgars. The family owns a home in Kansas City, Kan., and leased the house in Overland Park. Ring said a camera system he installed at the Birch home allowed the parents to observe the children while unattended in the basement area from the master bedroom.
According to a police affidavit, the Edgar children said the camera was installed to observe them in their bunk beds, which were located in the same room.
When police searched the Overland Park home, the camera had been removed, though police could see where it had been previously, the affidavit said. Inside the home, police also found duct tape and black plastic ties, which they described as similar to flex cuffs — single-use nylon restraints used by law-enforcement officers. Police also seized a Mickey Mouse video that Christon Edgar said the children were shown the night Brian died.
Ring said he was torn about calling police, but the involvement of children made the difference.
“I mean I’m just shocked … they’d been a customer of mine for almost 3 years now,” he said.
Investigators now believe Brian Edgar was killed in the Overland Park house.