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Old 12-30-2008, 03:42 PM   #1
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Oh No Dad Charged After Daughter Dies in Snow

Dad Charged After Daughter Dies in Snow

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (Dec. 30) - The father of an 11-year-old girl who died, likely of hypothermia, after trying to walk 10 miles in the snow on Christmas Day has been charged with second-degree murder and felony injury to a child.

Robert Aragon, 55, of Jerome, made an initial appearance Monday in 5th District Court, where Judge Mark Ingram appointed a public defender for him. The judge denied Aragon's request to lower his $500,000 bond. He was being held in the Blaine County Jail.

Aragon was emotional during the short hearing. He banged his head on the defendant's table as Ingram read the charges against him, The Times-News reported. After Ingram noted that second-degree murder carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, Aragon said "Oh my God" as he banged his head on the table one final time.

Sage Aragon and her 12-year-old brother, Bear, were with their father on Thursday when his truck got stuck in a snow drift near state Highway 75, north of Shoshone in southcentral Idaho, according to the Lincoln County sheriff's office.

The children live with Aragon in Jerome and he was taking them to visit their mother, JoLeta Jenks, in West Magic.

After the truck got caught in the snow, authorities allege Aragon let the children out to walk to their mother's house while he and another adult stayed behind to free the vehicle.

Jenks said she called Aragon because she was concerned after no one arrived at her home on Thursday. Aragon had driven back to Jerome after letting the kids out to walk to her house, Jenks said.

"They didn't even call me, telling me they were walking," she told the Times-News.

Jenks called the police and a Blaine County search and rescue team found the boy at a rest area near the highway shortly before 10 p.m. on Thursday night.

Adults in the search effort described the snow as knee-deep for them.

The boy was found wearing only long underwear, Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling said in a news release. Apparently delusional from hypothermia, the child had discarded his jacket, pants and shoes, the sheriff's office said. He was treated and released at a nearby hospital.

The rest area was about 4.5 miles from where the children started walking.

At some point the children separated and their mother said her son told her they disagreed about whether to keep going or turn back.

"(Bear) kept on telling her: 'Let's go, Sage, let's go, Sage,'" Jenks said, recalling what her son told her. "She said, 'No, I'm going back.'"

The little girl was found about 2.7 miles from where the two set out, barely visible under windblown, drifting snow when search dogs located her along a local road about 2 a.m. Friday. She was wearing a brown down coat, black shirt, pink pajama pants and tan snowboots, the sheriff's office statement said.

"I thought she was alive because they said they found her," Jenks said. "I was excited."

The girl was pronounced dead at a Ketchum hospital; preliminary autopsy results indicate she died of hypothermia.

Officials say temperatures in the area at the time the girl was missing ranged from 27 degrees above zero to minus 5.

Jenks and Aragon are not married. While she said she doesn't understand the decision Aragon is accused of making in letting the children walk to her house, Jenks added, "I don't need to sit and yell. I know he's going through hell right now."


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Old 12-30-2008, 04:02 PM   #2
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i can't really put my finger on it, but i feel a little bad for the guy. seems to me he may have figured that they were cold enough by the truck and it wouldn't have made any difference to walk back.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:41 PM   #3
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Didn't he have a cellphone with him, like everyone else in this world does? He should have at least gone looking for the kids after he got the truck out instead of heading home. He shouldn't have let the children walk alone like that, snow or no snow.
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:10 PM   #4
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Ten miles, knee deep snow, freezing temperatures and two young kids. This "father" is an idiot. Parents are supposed to keep their children out of harm's way. He threw them into a snake pit and went on his merry way.
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:19 PM   #5
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Poor kids. And why on earth did he not go one and see where they were? Driving back home was just...hmm. Who knows what he was thinking.
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janice
Ten miles, knee deep snow, freezing temperatures and two young kids. This "father" is an idiot. Parents are supposed to keep their children out of harm's way. He threw them into a snake pit and went on his merry way.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:29 PM   #7
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What a stupid man, someone should drop that father off out in snow.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChesneyLady
Didn't he have a cellphone with him, like everyone else in this world does? He should have at least gone looking for the kids after he got the truck out instead of heading home. He shouldn't have let the children walk alone like that, snow or no snow.
I agree with you about not letting the kids walk in knee-deep snow. However, not everyone in the world has a cellphone! I don't - I can't afford it! Maybe this guy couldn't afford one, either. They're not cheap, you know.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:50 PM   #9
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Well, what if the one adult went for help and the father stayed with the kids in the truck with it running with the heat on?
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Old 12-31-2008, 12:06 AM   #10
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Well, what if the one adult went for help and the father stayed with the kids in the truck with it running with the heat on?
It sounds to me as if nobody should have attempted the trip. They should have stayed put for a while. They did get the truck started.
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Old 12-31-2008, 12:30 AM   #11
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That is such a heart breaking story, I for one don't even let my kids play outside without adult supervision, let alone walk in the snow and freezing cold. This guy is an idiot, no two ways about that.
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:47 AM   #12
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The dad should serve his sentence in the snow.
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:46 AM   #13
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What kind of adult would let a young girl walk 10 miles in the snow in her PJs???? This man shouldnt have a dog, never mind kids!
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janice
It sounds to me as if nobody should have attempted the trip. They should have stayed put for a while. They did get the truck started.
And then both adults and both kids could have froze to death. I am not
saying that what the father did was smart, but if they had stayed there
in the cold, the children might have died anyway.
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:12 AM   #15
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And then both adults and both kids could have froze to death. I am not
saying that what the father did was smart, but if they had stayed there
in the cold, the children might have died anyway.
that's what i'm saying. i'm not necessarily aiming to defend the father, but i'm just careful about judging people in the news. not only can tragedy happen as the result of an honest mistake but the media avoids context like the plague.
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