03:58 PM CDT on Saturday, June 21, 2008
PASADENA, Texas — Pasadena police found the bodies of two children who have been missing since Sunday. The pair was found in a wooded area off Old Galveston Road near Allendale in southeast Houston just before midnight Friday.
In a press conference Saturday morning, Pasadena police spokesman Capt. Bud Corbett confirmed what 11 News first reported, that the bodies of the two children had been burned.
Randy Sylvester Jr., 7, and his 3-year-old sister Denim had been missing since Sunday.
Corbett said Randy Jr.’s body was stuffed in a wooden trunk while Denim was stuffed into a suitcase. As it turns out, the area where the bodies were dumped was near a small pond.
Video from Air 11 clearly shows charred ground where the bodies were recovered near the water’s edge.
Police suspect that the kids’ father, Randy Sylvester Sr. is responsible for their deaths as well as dumping their bodies near a railroad overpass that crosses over Old Galveston Road.
Just hours before the gruesome discovery, police had begun draining a retention pond near the apartment complex the children lived. The location where the bodies were found is about 7 miles to the north of the pond.
Community activist Quanell X, who had been talking to Sylvester for the past two days, was able to get the father to finally lead authorities to the wooded area that sits a few yards away from a set of railroad tracks. As police and FBI investigators collected evidence in the wooded area, Quanell X could be seen talking to Sylvester in the dark of the night.
Before that, Sylvester — who has not been charged in the kids’ deaths — kept pointing authorities to some ponds closer to the apartment complex where the kids lived.
An emotional Quanell X called Sylvester “cold-blooded” and said that the two days he was with the suspect left him disturbed. The community activist said that despite pleas to Sylvester to tell police where the bodies where, the kids’ father insisted that Quanell X see the bodies for himself.
Quanell X also described one of Sylvester’s Pasadena apartments, which is located in the same complex as where the kids lived, as a “dog house” filled with porn, was filthy and was used as a place for Sylvester to do drugs, the activist said. Quanell X described the apartment as a sort of playpen that Sylvester kept separate from the one he lived in.
It was after that visit that, “I knew that brother wasn’t innocent,” Quanell X said.
Earlier in the day on Friday, police began draining a pond they suspected could have been where the kids’ bodies had been left. In a morbid case of déjà vu, that retention pond is the same pond where the body of a murdered teen was found more than a decade ago.
It was 11 years ago this past April that Laura Kate Smither’s
body was found in that same pond that police had focused on prior to the bodies being found in the other location.
Smither’s disappearance changed how missing children cases are handled in Texas.
Three large pumps were brought in to start moving water out of the pond located near Beltway 8 and Preston Road.
Divers also searched a pond located in Crenshaw Park, but police decided to instead focus their attention on the retention pond near the Beltway on account of “inferences” by the kids’ father and other evidence that the kids’ bodies were dumped there.
Police also grudgingly admitted Friday that their efforts to find Randy and Denim
were considered a recovery effort.
While not charged in the children’s disappearance, Sylvester was in police custody on outstanding traffic ticket warrants and a drug offense probation violation.
Earlier in the night Friday, the local community rallied in support of the search effort and for the kids’ mom Jerilynn St. Cyr. In a church not far from where the kids were last seen, the St. Cyr found that her tears are shared by young and old alike.
“I know those kids and they are so sweet,” said family friend Natalie Davidson. “Just knowing that they might not come back… I don’t understand. I just want to understand.”
The kids’ mother doesn’t understand either. But she was also not giving up.
“I’m not giving up hope and please nobody else give up,” St. Cyr told the crowd at the vigil. “Please, just keep praying for my children and for them to return.”
Police weren’t giving up either.
“We are just going to do it as long as we can,” said Corbett. “There are occasions when you have to realize when to let go. But we are not at that point yet.”
OTHER RELATED LINKS:
Father not yet charged in deaths of Pasadena brother, sister:
Pasadena police spokesman Vance Mitchell told 11 News on Sunday that it was “doubtful” charges would be filed Sunday against Sylvester who is the lone suspect in the disappearance and killing of his son Randy Jr. and daughter Denim.
I knew the children were no longer among the living when this story first broke. I saw from the so-called father’s (which is not what you can call this ….thing) response to news reporters and his irate and angry behaviour, that he had destroyed his own flesh and blood.
Many people here are calling for the death penalty (which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled [death by lethal injection] earlier this year, was not considered ‘cruel or unusual’ punishment). Many people wish to tear this…..person to pieces with their bare hands. Many people wish for him to be tried, and convicted, and sent to prison and put among inmates in the general population, for them to exact their justice against him.
I say no.
Killing this person would be an act of kindness. Killing this person would be the easy way out for him. Even if we knew what he did to those two little innocent children in the last hours of their life upon Earth, still, the punishment would pale in comparison to what could be conceived of to exact retribution against this…..creature. After forensic eveidence is collected, and the District Attorney can prove with this evidence to convict, then there is only one form of punishment that I would recommend for this…..walking pestilence.
I say “Let him live”.
Because there are other ways to punish savages who destroy their own children. There are punishments which can be more lethal than any state-sanctioned death penalty. More frightening than any prison inmate vengeance.
Sometimes living can be the worst kind of punishment.
And there is such a thing as a living death.
May this human experience that justice ten-fold.