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Author Topic: Grandma charged in drowning of 5 yo grandson while on FL vacation  (Read 9299 times)
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« on: January 05, 2010, 11:16:01 PM »


German woman charged in drowning of her 5-year-old grandson while on Fla. vacation
Associated Press Writer
January 5, 2010

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A 71-year-old German woman drowned her 5-year-old grandson in a bathtub while they were vacationing in the Florida Panhandle because she didn't want to see the boy grow up in a divorced home, authorities said Tuesday.

The grandmother, Marianne Bordt, tried to commit suicide after the drowning Monday by wading into the Gulf of Mexico wearing heavy clothes, authorities said. Bordt, of Nufringen, Germany, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Camden Hiers at a condominium on St. George Island, about 60 miles southwest of Tallahassee.

A public defender was appointed for Bordt, but no one answered at the office after business hours.

The boy's parents had joint custody of Camden after they divorced in 2006, but he lived mostly with his mother in the Atlanta suburb of Roswell, Ga. His father, David Hiers, lives nearby and is on his way to Florida, according to his attorney.

"I don't think anybody ever knows that a grandparent could be capable of something like this," said Hiers' attorney J. Thomas Salata. "David Hiers is extremely distraught and overwhelmed with grief over this incident."

A phone message left at the mother's home, Karen Hiers, was not immediately returned. She is Bordt's daughter.

Bordt's husband, Heinz, told police he came back from shopping to find his wife returning from the beach sopping wet from the neck down, clad in a red jacket and long underwear.

"Mr. Bordt said that when he went into the house he saw his grandson partial(ly) submerged lying in the bathtub with his face in the water," according to a sworn statement by Franklin County Sheriff's Lt. Ronnie Segree wrote. "Mr. Bordt pulled him out of the bathtub placing him on the living room floor."

His wife tried to run away from the two-story condominium building, but he forced her into the car and the couple drove to the local fire station, Segree wrote. The boy was dead when authorities arrived.

Marianne Bordt was being held without bond and has been placed under a suicide watch.

Her case will be reviewed by a grand jury, which must issue an indictment before she can be prosecuted for first-degree murder. The panel also has the option of reducing or rejecting the charge.

First-degree murder convictions in Florida are punishable by either death or life in prison without parole.

« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 05:19:14 PM by MuffyBee » Logged

  " Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."  - Daniel Moynihan
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2010, 11:20:49 PM »


Police: Grandmother drowned 5-year-old boy // Read her arrest report
(Link to arrest warrant in article to right, under photo)

Marianne Bordt was visiting St. George Island from Germany, investigators say
January 05, 2010 01:12:00 PM

Marianne Bordt 

ST. GEORGE — A 71-year-old woman drowned her 5-year-old grandson, then tried but failed to drown herself in the frigid Gulf of Mexico while her husband was out shopping, investigators said Tuesday.

Marianne Bordt confessed to killing her grandson “because she didn't want to see him grow up in a divorced home,” Franklin County sheriff's investigators charged.

Bordt, who was vacationing on St. George Island, was charged with first-degree murder and booked into the Franklin County jail at 1 a.m. Tuesday. She later was ordered held without bond.

Investigators alleged she drowned her grandson, Camden Hiers, in the bathtub Monday afternoon while her husband, Heinz Bordt, was a few miles away running errands.

Mr. Bordt told investigators he went to Apalachicola to do some shopping about 2 p.m. He asked his wife if she wanted to go with him, but she said she'd stay with the boy, according to the report.

When Mr. Bordt returned about 4:30 p.m., “he noticed the front door was standing open, and his wife coming from the beach wearing a red jacket and female long underwear,” a deputy wrote. She apparently was wet from the neck down.

When he asked his wife what was wrong, "she said that she tried to kill herself in the ocean," the report said. Then she said she’d killed Camden.

Mr. Bordt said he went into the house and saw Camden partially submerged, face-down in the bathtub. He pulled him out, put him on the living room floor and left to drive to the local fire station for help.

Mrs. Bordt tried to run from the parking lot at that point, according to the report, but Mr. Bordt forced her into his back seat. She scraped her knee in the struggle.

When EMS and law enforcement made it to the house, Camden was pronounced dead.

The Bordts are German nationals. In her arrest report, Mrs. Bordt also had an address listed in Roswell, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta.

After her arrest, Mrs. Bordt immediately was placed on suicide watch at the Franklin County Jail. The Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were investigating the case. The German consulate in Washington, D.C., also was notified, Franklin County authorities said.

Bordt said little at her first appearance in court Tuesday but spoke briefly with Kevin Steiger, her court-appointed public defender, as courthouse employees worked to ensure she could communicate with the translator on a speakerphone. Steiger did not object to holding Bordt without bond.

He did contest Patterson’s request that Marianne Bordt surrender her passport, which she did.

The German consulate in Washington, D.C., has been notified of the case, but Steiger would not comment whether his client had spoken to anyone there.

Camden’s parents apparently shared joint custody after they divorced in 2006, but he lived mostly with his mother, Karin Hiers, in or near Roswell, according to the FDLE. A phone call to her listed number was not answered Tuesday afternoon.

Mrs. Bordt is Karin Hiers’ mother.

Camden’s father, David Hiers, was on his way to Florida on Tuesday, according to his attorney, J. Thomas Salata.

“I would be willing to state that David Hiers is extremely distraught and overwhelmed with grief over this incident,” Salata said. “He and his family ask only for thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.”


Northwest Florida Daily News Writer Tom McLaughlin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  " Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."  - Daniel Moynihan
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RIP Grumpy Cat :( I will miss you.

« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2010, 08:09:40 AM »


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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2010, 01:48:53 PM »

Nutt, yet another one I simply cannot begin to wrap my mind around.

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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2010, 02:02:45 PM »

Nutt, yet another one I simply cannot begin to wrap my mind around.

me either!!

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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2010, 05:17:44 PM »

Update: Child's death at St. George stuns Tallahassee family
German citizen accused of drowning 5-year-old grandson

By David Sáez • DEMOCRAT STAFF WRITER • January 6, 2010
6 p.m. Update: Child's death at St. George stuns Tallahassee family

The text message and Web link to the news story came at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Christy Gandy’s friend had a question: “Can you believe this?”

When Gandy, a Tallahassee resident, went to the Web site and recognized the woman’s face, she started crying. Then she threw up.

Marianne Bordt’s image was familiar, and at that moment Gandy was learning that the 5-year-old boy her family had come to know on the beach at St. George Island was dead and that the person arrested was Bordt, the child’s grandmother. The two families met while vacationing there last week.

“He was just so cute and petite,” Gandy said of the boy, Camden Hiers. “I told my husband all week that he was as cute as he could be. I can’t believe anyone would want to hurt him.”

Bordt, 71, is being held at the Franklin County Jail on charges of first-degree murder. According to an arrest warrant, the German woman admitted to her husband that she’d killed her grandson. Bordt told her husband she didn’t want her grandson to grow up in a divorced home.

Heinz Bordt said he found his grandson’s body Monday partially submerged and facedown in the bath tub of their condominium after returning from a shopping trip in Apalachicola.

The Gandy family, the German couple and their grandson became vacationing neighbors on Dec. 28. The two families had rented units in the same condominium at 641 E. Gorrie Street.

The Bordts, they learned, had come from Roswell, Ga., where Hiers lived with his mother. Gandy said the German couple told them they spent three months of the year in Roswell.

Aside from the daily greetings, Gandy said she and her family had limited interactions with Bordt, mostly because of the language barrier. But Gandy said they had no indication that anything was wrong.

Early on, Gandy said, Hiers seemed to gravitate to her family, including her husband Nick and their two sons, 12-year-old Grant and 8-year-old Gregory.

“He wanted to do whatever he could to hang out with us,” Nick said. “He talked my ear off. He even admitted to me, ‘I talk a lot.’ ”
The Gandys welcomed Hiers into their beach fun.

“I’m glad we were able to give that child a happy time while he was there,” Gandy said. “And he was happy.”

The pictures they took reflect that, she said. She and her husband are attempting to get the pictures to Hiers’ parents, who have been divorced since 2006.

Gandy’s sons were there at home with her when she learned the news on Tuesday. Once she calmed down, she said, she told her sons. Both are struggling to make sense of the news, especially Grant.

“He just doesn’t understand how anything could happen to this boy,” Nick said. “This was just an innocent little boy.”

For the Gandys, Camden Hiers will be connected to a special place, a place where Christy and Nick met, where Nick proposed, and where they married.

“Maybe a lot of people are focusing on how terrible this is, and it is,” Nick said. “But there was some good. He did have an awful lot of fun with us in his last days. I’m taking a lot of solace from that.”


Grandmother charged in child's death

The German woman charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of her 5-year-old grandson at St. George Island learned Tuesday that she would be held without bond in the Franklin County Courthouse.

During her first appearance Tuesday afternoon, Marianne Bordt, 71, was appointed a public defender and given a Feb. 9 arraignment date.

An interpreter on speaker phone facilitated the communication between Franklin County Judge Van Russell and Bordt.

According to an arrest warrant written by a Franklin County Sheriff's Office deputy, Bordt told her husband, Heinz, that she had killed Camden Hiers because she did not want her grandson to "grow up in a divorced home."

The Bordts and their grandson were vacationing at 641 E. Gorrie Street on St. George Island at the time of the boy's death. The arrest warrant lists a Roswell, Ga., address for Bordt and the boy. But according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Bordts were visiting from Germany and the child and his mother were residents of Roswell, north of Atlanta. The child's father also lives in Georgia.
Heinz Bordt told deputies that he had been shopping for two and a half hours Monday when he returned to the home and found the front door open and his wife walking from the beach wearing a red jacket and long underwear. She was wet from the neck down.


He asked his wife what happened, and Bordt told him she had tried to kill herself "in the ocean." When he asked her where their grandson was, she told him she had killed him.

The grandfather found the child lying in the bathtub face down in the water partly submerged. He said he pulled the child out of the tub and attempted to get help at a nearby fire station.

The boy was declared dead at the scene.

Bordt has been in touch with the German Consulate, and authorities notified the German Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Chief Assistant Public Defender Kevin Steiger said this is the first time in his 15 years in Franklin County where he's needed a German interpreter.

"It was not the best situation, but it was what we could do," Steiger said.

Steiger said future court dates will include live interpreters, rather than via speaker phone.

An autopsy was scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday, but no updates were available, according to FDLE spokeswoman Kristen Chernosky.

  " Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."  - Daniel Moynihan
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2010, 05:21:47 PM »


Updated: 12:04 PM Jan 7, 2010
Woman Charged with Murdering 5 Year-Old Grandson
Camden Hiers was vacationing in Franklin County with his maternal grandparents who are from Germany. But instead of planning for his future, the parents of this Georgia boy are planning his funeral.
Posted: 8:20 PM Jan 6, 2010
Reporter: Tara Herrschaft
(video available at link in article)

FDLE officials say Bordt was transported from the Franklin County jail to the Leon County jail because Leon County is better equipped to handle the language barrier.

Updated 8 p.m. 1/6

FDLE will continue to work the case of Marianne Bordt, who's from Germany. She was transported to the Leon County jail on Tuesday where she is awaiting her February 9th arraignment date.

A vacation on St. George Island has turned deadly for 5 year-old Camden Hiers. His grandmother, 71-year-old Marianne Bordt, is accused of drowning him in the bathtub on Monday at this rental home at 641 Gorrie Drive.

Authorities say when Bordt's husband returned home from a shopping trip he saw her walking from the beach, saying she tried to kill herself and had killed their grandson because she didn't want to see him grow up in a divorced home. Camden's parents, David and Karen were divorced in 2006.

"David is extremely distraught and he's overwhelmed with grief over this incident. He and his family, they're just asking right now for thoughts and prayers during this very very difficult time," said J Thomas Salata, David Hiers' attorney and family friend.

The boy was living in Roswell, Georgia with his mother. His father lives nearby in Alpharetta, Georgia. David's attorney and friend says he doesn't believe there were any signs that something was wrong.

And the tragedy on the small, quiet island has left many trying to fathom how this could have happened. "We just don't understand how people could get that far, I guess depressed or emotionally disturbed to take your Grandson's life, gosh that's terrible," said Jerry Gann, who is vacationing on St. George Island.

Autopsy results have been completed, but because the investigation is still open, officials cannot release any information.

Funeral arrangements are currently being made for the child. The father's attorney tells me the parents are still trying to decide where it will be held.

  " Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."  - Daniel Moynihan
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