Convicted Child Molester, Man's Parents Charged With Murder In 6-year-old Georgia Boy's Death
Wednesday, March 21st 2007, 5:56 pm
News On 6
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) _ A convicted child molester and his father took turns sexually assaulting a 6-year-old boy while the molester's mother watched, then they choked the boy to death, according to an indictment issued Wednesday.
The indictment charges all three family members with murder and child molestation in the slaying of young Christopher Michael Barrios, whose body was found last Thursday inside a trash bag dumped by a roadside.
District Attorney Stephen D. Kelley said he will seek the death penalty against 32-year-old George David Edenfield, who has a prior child molestation conviction from 1997, and his parents, David and Peggy Edenfield.
``This is one of the most horrific crimes that I have seen in 21 years of prosecutions,'' Kelley said.
Christopher went missing for a week before police found his body about three miles from his trailer park home outside Brunswick, a Georgia port city 60 miles south of Savannah. The suspects lived in a mobile home across the street from the boy's grandmother.
The indictment contains grim details about the case that police and prosecutors had not previously revealed. It says Christopher died from asphyxiation March 8 _ the day he was reported missing _ after the suspects choked him while ``ignoring his complaints that they were hurting him.'' The indictment does not say which of three caused the boy's death.
It also claims George Edenfield and his 58-year-old father sodomized the boy and forced him to perform oral sex while Peggy Edenfield watched and masturbated.
``They deserve the worst, for them to torture my son like that, every last one of them,'' said Mike Barrios, the slain boy's father.
A friend of the Edenfield family, Donald Dale, was indicted on charges of concealing a death and tampering with evidence. Kelley said Dale did not become involved until after Christopher had been killed.
Nathan Williams, the attorney for 57-year-old Peggy Edenfield, declined to comment Wednesday. Attorneys for George and David Edenfield did not immediately return phone calls.
Glynn County police arrested the Edenfields four days after the child vanished while playing alone outside. Police Chief Matt Doering said all three suspects confessed to playing roles in the boy's abduction.
Police have said Dale admitted to investigators he helped the Edenfields dispose of Christopher's body.
Other charges against the Edenfields include false imprisonment, cruelty to children and enticing a child for indecent purposes.
Police have described George David Edenfield as mentally slow, but not retarded and capable of understanding right from wrong.
Ironically, the Edenfields moved into the trailer park where Christopher lived last year because of a Georgia law intended to keep child molesters away from children. Sheriffs' deputies told George Edenfield in September that he had to leave his home near downtown Brunswick because it was too close to a playground. Georgia law prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools and other places that draw children.
His family went to live in the trailer park in October after George Edenfield was arrested for failing to move as ordered. He pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to probation March 5, three days before Christopher disappeared.
George Edenfield was required to register as a sex offender after he pleaded guilty in 1997 to molesting two boys, ages 7 and 9. Prosecutors said he rubbed his clothed body ``in a sexual manner'' against the boys, who also were fully dressed. He was sentenced then to 10 years on probation.
His father, David Edenfield, pleaded guilty to incest in 1994. He was accused of having sex with an adult relative who was not his son.