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  1. #1
    Go #5!!!! Mini has a reputation beyond repute Mini has a reputation beyond repute Mini has a reputation beyond repute Mini has a reputation beyond repute Mini has a reputation beyond repute Mini has a reputation beyond repute Mini has a reputation beyond repute Mini has a reputation beyond repute Mini has a reputation beyond repute Mini has a reputation beyond repute Mini has a reputation beyond repute
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    Unhappy People that abuse their children...

    A silver-framed photo of a tiny baby with a shock of thick black hair still sits on the mantle in her grandparents' sunroom.
    Not too long after the photograph was taken, Bryanna Faith Draper would be gone.

    Her grandparents still recall the desperate attempts to nurse the nearly 4-month-old baby back to health, the agony of her death and the torture of the 10 months that would follow without answers.

    They wondered whether a genetic disease, a rare reaction to an immunization, a hospital mistake or some mysterious illness had caused her death.

    "It was horrible. You imagine everything. It's a nightmare, but you just live it," Kay Wills said as she dabbed at the tears that still come quickly at the mention of her only grandchild.

    Wayne Wills, the baby's grandfather, agreed.

    "The not knowing will kill you," he said. "We thought we just had a sick child who died. We thought she might have gotten polio from her shots. We thought she might have had a heart problem."

    As they ran through endless possibilities in their minds, Wayne and Kay Wills never suspected that Bryanna's death was the result of abuse at the hands of her father, Daniel L. Draper of Bristol Tennessee.

    They were kept in the dark about the cause of their granddaughter's death until police received a final autopsy report -- a process that took 10 months.

    Their case was just one of many in the past few years that has been slowed by a lack of space, understaffing and shortage of funding for the regional medical examiner's office.

    "It wasn't anybody's fault, really," Wayne Wills said of the delay. "Everybody was doing what they could, but it would have been nice if it had been quicker. Knowing was horrible. Not knowing was worse."

    Two years after Bryanna's death, her father pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison. The 37-year-old former X-ray technician can ask for parole when he is 88.

    The family's world began to unravel in April 2000 when Bryanna was 2 months old. That was when the healthy, happy baby suddenly started to suffer from strange symptoms.

    Bryanna seemed to be in pain and couldn't keep formula down, her grandparents said. Her mother, Angie, took her to the doctor 15 times but got no answers, they said.

    "She spent two weekends in the hospital," Kay Wills said. "She was at the doctor's every day the last week that she died. Someone should have discovered it."

    The baby's autopsy would reveal broken ribs, a broken arm and a broken collarbone as well as bleeding in her brain and eyes. But a week before she died, no marks were visible on her body, Kay Wills recalled.

    "On the Wednesday before she died, I gave her a bath," she said. "There was not one mark. There were no physical signs of abuse."

    In fact, the baby seemed to be getting well just before she died, Wayne Wills remembered.

    Bryanna's short life came to an end June 2, 2000. She was rushed to the hospital in cardiac arrest; her father claimed she had stopped breathing after choking on formula.

    Later, he would admit to police investigators he had picked Bryanna up by the head, smothered her, then thrown her down. He also would admit abusing the baby for weeks before she died -- twisting her arms and legs and striking her head.

    The abuse happened while the baby's mother -- a cardiac nurse -- was at work or sleeping and the baby was left in her father's care.

    In the 10 months after Bryanna's death, before police shared the final autopsy results with her family, the Willses said the family lived in agony. Their daughter wanted to have another baby but worried she would pass on some fatal genetic defect, her father said.

    Worst of all, their daughter continued to live with Draper -- unaware that he had killed their child, they said.

    "The only person who wasn't fooled was Daniel," Wayne Wills said.

    The pressure on the family became even more intense about three weeks before they learned the autopsy results. It was at that point that he received a copy of the baby's death certificate that listed the cause of her death as multiple trauma, Wayne Wills said.

    He pleaded with police and a friend in the prosecutor's office for answers, to no avail, he said.

    "They couldn't tell us anything until they got that final report," he said. "Then, they told me exactly what happened."

    After he told his daughter about the autopsy results, she confronted her husband at her parents' home.

    "All he would admit is that he hit (Bryanna) in the head and that he hurt her," Wayne Wills said. "He said, 'Yes, I hurt her.'"

    Draper asked him to take him to talk to police, Wayne Wills said, adding that he has mixed feelings about his former son-in-law, whom he had known for 12 years.

    "The Lord worked it out," Wayne Wills said. "It was in his time frame, not ours."

    It has been five months since Draper pleaded guilty to murder and was sent to prison. Now, he has filed a motion to have his sentence modified -- a legal maneuver that has brought fresh pain for the Wills family.

    But they have tried to move on with their lives. Their daughter since has remarried.

    "She has a lot of bad times still," Kay Wills said. "She's trying, but it's hard."

    The Willses hope that by sharing their story they will help other families avoid their anguish. They hope the state will provide more funding for the state medical examiner's office so other families won't have to endure such a long search for answers.

    "There are certain things that have to be funded," Wayne Wills said. "Fifty years ago, (Draper) might have gotten away with it. What the pathologists do is very important."

    Bryanna's grandparents also hope her legacy will be that doctors will look closely for signs of child abuse -- even in cases in which it seems unlikely.

    "We've been told that when a baby comes in (to the emergency room) now, someone says, 'What about Bryanna?'" Wayne Wills said. "Our understanding is that on one occasion a child has been saved. That's some comfort.

    "Angie worried that for 10 months Bryanna would just be forgotten. She won't ever be forgotten, not only in health care but also in law enforcement."


    To see the future you must forget your past...otherwise your past will become your future

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  3. #2
    Member of the MOB cpbaby has a reputation beyond repute cpbaby has a reputation beyond repute cpbaby has a reputation beyond repute cpbaby has a reputation beyond repute cpbaby has a reputation beyond repute cpbaby has a reputation beyond repute cpbaby has a reputation beyond repute cpbaby has a reputation beyond repute cpbaby has a reputation beyond repute cpbaby has a reputation beyond repute cpbaby has a reputation beyond repute
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    This is so pitiful.



  4. #3
    WAHM rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute
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    This makes me sick to the core of my soul. He should be treated the way he treated his precious baby...
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  5. #4
    Proud Army Wife hawley7
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    How horrible that someone could hurt an innocent little baby. My heart aches.
    In memory of Ashlen Taylor Finley
    "Our Little Angel" 26 March 2003

  6. #5
    mom on a mission 1busymomma has a reputation beyond repute 1busymomma has a reputation beyond repute 1busymomma has a reputation beyond repute 1busymomma has a reputation beyond repute 1busymomma has a reputation beyond repute 1busymomma has a reputation beyond repute 1busymomma has a reputation beyond repute 1busymomma has a reputation beyond repute 1busymomma has a reputation beyond repute 1busymomma has a reputation beyond repute 1busymomma has a reputation beyond repute
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    I hope to God he seriously rots in jail. Modified sentence my @ss!!!


  7. #6
    Banned miccit
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    Originally posted by 1busymomma
    I hope to God he seriously rots in jail. Modified sentence my @ss!!!

    You took the words right out of my mouth.

  8. #7
    PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN mannerswife has a reputation beyond repute mannerswife has a reputation beyond repute mannerswife has a reputation beyond repute mannerswife has a reputation beyond repute mannerswife has a reputation beyond repute mannerswife has a reputation beyond repute mannerswife has a reputation beyond repute mannerswife has a reputation beyond repute mannerswife has a reputation beyond repute mannerswife has a reputation beyond repute mannerswife has a reputation beyond repute
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    This kind of crap just makes me sick. My only grandchild is named Bryanna also and I would kill anyone that hurt her. God Bless all the poor little Bryanna's in this world and may her Daddy {not that he deserves to be called that} rot in eternal hell!
    GOD BLESS AMERICA

  9. #8
    bigbig freebie ttistin has a reputation beyond repute ttistin has a reputation beyond repute ttistin has a reputation beyond repute ttistin has a reputation beyond repute ttistin has a reputation beyond repute ttistin has a reputation beyond repute ttistin has a reputation beyond repute ttistin has a reputation beyond repute ttistin has a reputation beyond repute ttistin has a reputation beyond repute ttistin has a reputation beyond repute
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    I have one word that comes to mind after reading this.

    ~WHY?~


    My mom...gone but not forgotten
    8/13/1949 - 10/28/2004

  10. #9
    Will's Mom lpelham will become famous soon enough
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    Originally posted by rain_cries
    This makes me sick to the core of my soul. He should be treated the way he treated his precious baby...
    Sorry Rain_cries, but he deserves to be treated much WORSE than he treated his baby. I have heard prisoners hate child abusers...I hope they remind him every day of what he did.

    Libby

  11. #10
    WAHM rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute rain_cries has a reputation beyond repute
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    I agree 100%!!!
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  12. #11
    Will's Mom lpelham will become famous soon enough
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    Originally posted by rain_cries
    I agree 100%!!!
    I know you weren't trying to be easy on him - it's just that he deserves 100 times the suffering he put that poor baby through. Sometimes I wish you had to past a test or get a license or something to be able to have kids. People like him just make me sick!

    Libby


 

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